By David F. Cohen
I have come to the conclusion that Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. will not be announcing any noteworthy trades today or tomorrow, by Thursday’s trade deadline or ever.
And the reason is very simple.
Yes, Amaro is in way over his head as a businessman, which is his job. But the real reason is that every other MLB team has looked at what the Phillies have and are offering and they have told Amaro:
The Phillies came into Sunday trailing in the division by 12.5 games. They were 11 out in the wild-card race. Of their eight regular starting position players and five rotation guys, seven are at least 34 years old. They don’t have much in the way of young talent in the pipeline coming soon, either.
Basically, they really should blow this thing up. Even if they have to eat a large portion of the money remaining on some of these colossal deals, GM Ruben Amaro should be looking to trade all of the following players: Ryan Howard, Cliff Lee, Jimmy Rollins (photo above), Chase Utley, A. J. Burnett, Jonathan Papelebon, Marlon Byrd, Carlos Ruiz, Antonio Bastardo and Cole Hamels (he’s 30, so it’s not like he has to be kept as a centerpiece for the rebuild).
It’s going to get worse before it gets better regardless of how its done, so rip that band-aid off and embark upon a sizable rebuilding project.
Obviously, there are many complications, like Howard being untradeable, Lee struggling as he returns from injury, Utley not wanting to waive his no-trade clause and some of the almost excessive money left on the contracts of Howard, Lee and Hamels.
But really, Ruben? You’re not able to move any of these players for the second season in a row?
At the rate the Phillies are rebuilding it will take at least 10 years to do it.