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Rebuilding The Philadelphia Phillies

Credit: Michael Perez/AP

What could Cole Hamels bring back for the Phillies?

Recently, interim Phillies team president Pat Gillick stated in a public interview that it is time for the Phillies to rebuild. For many fans, this interview was refreshing. The Phillies have finally faced reality and will begin a rebuilding process that should have probably started two years ago. Given the Phillies stated objectives of getting younger and more athletic, here are some suggested moves that would accomplish these objectives.

In a three team trade the Phillies trade Cole Hamels to the Cubs, the Cubs trade Javier Baez to the Mets, and the Mets and Cubs send Travis d’Arnaud, Rafael Montero, Arismendy Alcantara, CJ Edwards, and Edwin Jackson to the Phillies.

These three teams match up very well for a potential move. For the Cubs, they make this move because they can get Hamels without giving up any of their top tier prospects and clear Edwin Jackson’s salary. Javier Baez is probably the odd man out in Chicago. The Cubs have three infield spots, second base, shortstop, and third base and those spots will be occupied by Addison Russell, Starlin Castro, and Kris Bryant.

 The Mets do this deal because they have a serious need for a shortstop and Baez has serious potential. Even if he doesn’t hit for a high average he has 30 to 40 homer power. That power and defensive potential at shortstop is valuable. d’Arnaud is potentially expendable because the Mets have Kevin Plawecki in AAA and he could take over behind the plate. Also, this move allows the Mets to upgrade at shortstop without giving up their top tier pitching prospects. 

For the Phillies this move makes sense because it includes everything they should be looking for in a Hamels trade. They get two up-the-middle everyday players, a young pitcher to plug into their rotation next year, and a highly regarded pitching prospect. They would probably take Jackson back to facilitate the deal because he has only two years left on his deal and they need someone to provide innings for their rotation. Additionally, acquiring d’Arnaud, a former Phillies prospect, will allow them to trade Carlos Ruiz, who is in the next potential trade.

The Red Sox trade Sean Coyle to the Phillies for Carlos Ruiz.

The Red Sox aggressively pursued Carlos Ruiz last off-season and nearly signed him, but the Phillies increased their offer at the last minute. Sean Coyle represents a decent haul for Carlos Ruiz. He is a second baseman, who is blocked by Pedroia in Boston. He could be the heir apparent to Chase Utley in Philadelphia once Utley decides to retire. 

The Royals trade Christian Binford and Bubba Starling to the Phillies for Marlon Byrd.

Marlon Byrd had a great year in Right Field for the Phillies this year. His 2 year 16 million dollar deal looks like a bargain now. Unfortunately for the Phillies, Byrd is 37 years old and will not be a part of the next contending Phillies team. He makes a lot of sense for the Royals as he plays great defense in Right Field and will provide the Royals some more power, an element of their offense that was clearly lacking. Binford profiles as a potential middle of the rotation starter. Starling, the fifth overall pick in the 2011 draft, has struggled in pro ball, but is just 21 years old. He is a great buy low candidate and the Royals should be willing to move these pieces for another chance at the playoffs next year.

The Phillies trade Ryan Howard and 55 million dollars to the Tampa Bay Rays for Nate Karns. 

Ryan Howard is likely the player the Phillies want to move the most. He has 50 million dollars owed to him over the next two years and then a 10 million dollar buyout at the end of the 2016 season. The Phillies will have to pay all but about 5 million of this 60 million dollar commitment to move him. Even then they will not get much back. Howard is strictly a DH at this point of his career and Tampa Bay is a team that potentially needs a DH for next year. Nate Karns is a fringe Major Leaguer.

The Phillies trade Jonathan Papelbon and 12 million dollars to the New York Yankees for Austin DeCarr. 

The Phillies have tried to trade Papelbon for the last two years and he had a great season, aside from making an obscene gesture to Phillies fans at Citizens Bank Park. With David Robertson receiving the qualifying offer and potentially turn it down, the Yankees will need a closer in the short term, while they continue to groom Dellin Betances as the future closer. The Yankees would probably take a flyer on Papelbon for just 14 million over two years. The Yankees will not need to give up much and Austin DeCarr would fit the bill for what the Phillies are looking for. DeCarr is a hard thrower, who could become a rotation piece, but is probably ticketed for the bullpen if everything breaks right. This move is more about addition by subtraction.

In addition to these trades, the Phillies should sign Yasmany Tomas as well as a back of the rotation starter, someone like Brandon Morrow, who could be had on a one year deal and has some potential upside. All of these moves would make the Phillies significantly younger and change the long-term outlook of the franchise. The team would go from having five regulars over the age of 30 in their starting lineup to just two. While none of the trades mentioned above are likely to happen, these are the types of deals the Phillies should be thinking about. It should be a very busy off-season for the Phillies. 

Edited by John Ray.

What year did Ryan Howard sign his contract extension with the Phillies?
Created 11/5/14
  1. 2009
  2. 2010
  3. 2011
  4. 2008

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