Philadelphia Phillies: Each Player's Trade Risk If They Fall out of It in July

Greg Pinto@@Greg_PintoCorrespondent IMay 11, 2012

Philadelphia Phillies: Each Player's Trade Risk If They Fall out of It in July

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    Well, things haven't gone as expected for the Philadelphia Phillies this season.

    Coming into this season, they were expected to be the bunch of grizzled veterans that would be able to ride out the injury storm and keep their heads above water, playing like a force to be reckoned with at the top of the National League East and striking fear into the hearts of the rest of the division with the return of their All-Star right side of the infield.

    That won't be happening.

    It's been a long time since the Phillies found themselves in the cellar of the NL East for an extended period of time, and that is what is happening early in the season. The lineup is floundering, the bullpen is in shambles, and injuries are taking their toll on this team's morale. 

    While it's still way too early to suggest that the Phillies won't be in contention by the trade deadline, it is no stretch to suggest that this team is a shell of its former self.

    What happens if the Phillies are still in the cellar when July rolls around? Will they look to trade some of their big roster players? You can bet your bottom dollar they will, but who is safe and who goes?

    Time to find out.

The Scale

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    For this slide show, I'll be using a different kind of scale to determine whether or not the Phillies will be parting ways with certain players come the trade deadline, but it's a simple one.

    We'll be working with a scale of 0—10. 

    The number 0 suggests that a player has no chance of being traded this season.

    The number 10 suggests that trading the player at the deadline is all but guaranteed.

    See? Simple.

Antonio Bastardo

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    Trade Risk: 0

    Antonio Bastardo really hasn't seemed himself this season, but that's not reason enough for the Phillies to move him this year.

    They witnessed his potential impact on the bullpen first-hand last season and Bastardo is still very affordable this season as well as next, when he enters his first year of arbitration.

    They'll have zero incentive to talk about him with other clubs.

Joe Blanton

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    Trade Risk: 10

    Joe Blanton has pitched well this season, but that's been a double-edged sword for the right-handed starter.

    On one hand, he's making a good name for himself heading into free agency, though he has openly admitted he is comfortable with the Phillies. On the other, if the Phillies are out of contention, he is as good as gone.

    He may not be a superstar, but a pitcher like Blanton can certainly help a contending club down the stretch and it certainly has not been made a secret that the Phillies would like to move part of his salary.

Jose Contreras

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    Trade Risk: 4

    Jose Contreras is an interesting case.

    On one hand, I'm sure the Phillies would like to move part of his salary if they could. He has an option for the 2013 season that I'm sure all teams would decline.

    The biggest obstacle is the simple fact that Contreras has not proved he can be the reliever he was before hitting the shelf with an arm issue in 2011.

    Teams would love to have an experienced reliever like the "Big Truck," but only if he's pitching well.

Roy Halladay

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    Trade Risk: 0

    If the Phillies fall out of contention this season, they aren't going to mail it in next season, so Roy Halladay will certainly be part of their plans.

    Starting pitching has been this club's strength over the last couple of seasons and they'll certainly need to find new ways to generate some run support, but it won't be at the expense of Halladay—or starting pitching in general, for that matter.

Cole Hamels

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    Trade Risk: 7

    The Phillies seem to be undecided about the future of Cole Hamels.

    Prior to the season, a lot of people thought it was only a matter of time before he agreed to a big, long, lucrative contract extension with the Phillies, but that hasn't come to pass.

    As the team drifts further away from first place and closer to the trade deadline, you have to wonder if the Phillies would explore moving Hamels for at least one top positional prospect this summer. They could certainly use one.

    Then again, the Phillies have also shown that their club is built around pitching, and an investment to Hamels, who is in the prime of his career, would offset investments in aging pitchers like Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee should they begin to fade.

    My gut says he stays, but who knows at this point?

David Herndon

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    Trade Risk: 2

    David Herndon's trade risk is nearly non-existent, but the trade market for relief help is going to be thin this summer, and if a team came calling about one of the Phillies' "younger" guys, (meaning, 30-and-under and under team control) I think Herndon is a guy they'd consider moving.

    With that being said, it's hard to imagine a team calling about Herndon, especially since the health of his shoulder is in an uncertain place right now,

Kyle Kendrick

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    Trade Risk: 5

    Part of the reason the Phillies wanted to buy out Kyle Kendrick's final year of arbitration for next season and sign him to a multi-year deal over the winter was to provide some cost certainty, not only for themselves, but in the event of a trade as well.

    Kendrick will have an extremely limited market should the Phillies shop him around, and I would assume that his market would be larger in the winter, when teams that aren't necessarily contenders are looking to add starting pitching depth.

    With that being said, in the event the Phillies become sellers, they'll certainly look to move Kendrick.

Cliff Lee

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    Trade Risk: 0

    The notion of trading Cliff Lee, one that I've heard being talked about in the city of Philadelphia, is extremely far-fetched.

    First and foremost, you're not going to find a huge market for Lee because of the magnitude of his contract. In that selective market, you're going to find an even smaller market of teams that would have the plethora of prospects it would take to get a deal done.

    To make all of that useless information, the Phillies won't have any interest in trading Lee anyway. Pitching is their strength and they aren't going to blow up the future. Lee wanted to come back to pitch here. The fans love him.

    He's not going anywhere.

Jonathan Papelbon

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    Trade Risk: 0

    When the Phillies made Jonathan Papelbon the highest paid reliever in the history of the game, they kind of built in an unspoken no-trade clause by doing so.

    A lot of teams would love to have Papelbon at the back of their bullpen, but few teams can afford to allocate that chunk of change to their closer.

    The Phillies can do it, even if they fall out of the race this year and have to push their World Series hopes into next season.

Chad Qualls

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    Trade Risk: 10

    If the Phillies fall out of the race, Chad Qualls is as good as gone.

    He's cooled off quite a bit after a hot month of April, but that shouldn't hurt his trade value all that much as the trade deadline rolls around. The reason is simple: The market for relievers is going to be extremely thin. 

    Qualls is a guy that has experience in several different bullpen rolls, is throwing the ball relatively well, and it certainly doesn't hurt that he's on a one year deal and making next to nothing.

    The Phillies wouldn't get much, but it would be something.

Mike Stutes

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    Trade Risk: 0

    The Phillies would have very little incentive to trade Mike Stutes.

    First and foremost, he is an inexpensive reliever that won't be eligible for arbitration. There's no reason to deal him in that regard.

    Secondly, he has a higher ceiling than some of the other guys in the Phillies' bullpen. If he can reign in his control, Stutes' fastball/slider repertoire can be highly effective, and a big part of the club's future.

Vance Worley

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    Trade Risk: 0

    Vance Worley has pitched his way into the Phillies' starting rotation and won't be traded unless some team is willing to drastically overpay for him, and that just isn't going to happen.

    He won't be eligible for arbitration for the next couple of seasons and is very cost-efficient for a club with a mammoth payroll as it stands right now.

    With Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton in uncertain situations, it sure looks as though Worley will play a huge role for the 2013 Phillies.

Carlos Ruiz

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    Trade Risk: 0

    Carlos Ruiz is one of the only bargains this Phillies team can boast about.

    He's earning just $3.7 million this season and the Phillies hold a club option for his services in 2013 at a very affordable $5 million.

    Moreover, Ruiz is an integral part of this team with the way that he handles this pitching staff, and although some may advocate a deal at the right price with Sebastian Valle on the horizon, he is still a couple of seasons away, and the Phillies do not have a viable alternative.

    It's hard to imagine this club willing to move one of their most crucial pieces.

Brian Schneider

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    Trade Risk: 0

    I'm going to sum this up quickly.

    The Phillies would probably love to trade Brian Schneider if they fall out of the race, which would put his trade risk much higher. 

    But who would want him?

Freddy Galvis

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    Trade Risk: 0

    If the Phillies fall out of contention this summer, their prospects are suddenly going to become a much bigger part of their future, so Freddy Galvis won't be going anywhere.

    Galvis has proved his value to the club this season by filling in admirably, at least defensively, for the injured Chase Utley, starting a couple of games at his natural shortstop position as well.

    He may be blocked in the middle infield for the next couple of seasons, health providing, but that will just give the Phillies time to develop his bat or utilize him as a utility player.

Ryan Howard

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    Trade Risk: 0

    As much as the Phillies would like a do-over on Ryan Howard's contract, that's not going to happen. That contract is going to exist until it expires and the "Big Piece" will be eating up a big chunk of change at first base for the Phillies until that day.

    With that being said, if Howard's Achilles heal has healed perfectly and he is able to give this lineup some pop, I'm sure the Phillies would take it at this point.

Placido Polanco

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    Trade Risk: 5

    I'm struggling to give Placido Polanco's trade risk a fair value.

    If the Phillies fall out of the race, I'm sure they would love to move his contract. He's on the last year of his deal and isn't overly expensive, though any team with interest would want the Phillies to eat part of his contract regardless.

    On the other hand, who would be interest in Polanco's services? He isn't doing enough at the plate right now to be viable at any position, let alone third base, and though his defense would make him an interesting utility man for a contender, you don't see many of those move at the trade deadline.

    That's why I have Polanco's trade risk right at 50/50.

Jimmy Rollins

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    Trade Risk: 0

    Admittedly, I was a little surprised last winter when the Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers were the only two teams to express legitimate interest in Jimmy Rollins. Then again, I wasn't surprised that a lot of teams were scared away by his asking price.

    That would only complicate things right now. While part of me believes that the Phillies would move Rollins in the right deal (for example, land at least one top prospect and don't have to eat an excessive amount of the guaranteed money remaining on his deal) then I could see them making a trade.

    Realistically, however, that's not going to happen. More likely than not, Rollins will remain a Philly and his risk of a trade is next to nothing.

Jim Thome

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    Trade Risk: 3

    If Jim Thome was healthy and hitting the cover off of the ball, I'd put his trade risk much higher, but of course, he's not.

    If that were the case, Thome would appeal to some American League teams as a designated hitter, even if it was a part-time gig. A team struggling with offense could take a flier on him and see what happens.

    Given the circumstances at the present moment, which of course is the fact that Thome is struggling mightily, both with his health and bat, I can't see any team being overly interested.

    There just aren't many DH openings right now. Just ask Vladimir Guerrero.

Chase Utley

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    Trade Risk: 0

    Believe it or not, Chase Utley will be on the final year of his seven-year, $85 million deal next season, and unless something tragic happens, it will be spent wearing red pinstripes in the city of Philadelphia.

    Yes, his chronic knee condition is a major concern. That hasn't stopped Utley from playing the type of game that has escalated him to one of the greatest sports players in this city's rich history, and it would be a real shame for him to finish his career elsewhere.

    With that being said, he has limited trade value thanks to that knee condition, and the Phillies wouldn't receive an offer strong enough to move him regardless, especially after missing a month and a half of the season to date.

Ty Wigginton

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    Trade Risk: 5

    On the surface, Ty Wigginton doesn't seem to be the type of guy that would have much appeal to a contending team down the stretch, but there is certainly some value in his skill-set, especially if he can keep up his swing against lefties.

    Some contending teams could be interested in Wigginton as a right-handed bat off of the bench (.842 OPS vs. LHP) as well as a guy who could give players at first and third base a breather.

    I wouldn't expect a huge market for Wigginton, however.

John Mayberry Jr.

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    Trade Risk: 0

    If the Phillies fall out of contention early on, there is no reason to move John Mayberry Jr. unless they are completely blown away with an offer, and I just don't see that happening.

    As a player who is out of minor league options, Mayberry has to remain on the Phillies' 25-man roster, unless they are daring enough to pass him through waivers, where he would undoubtedly be claimed by another team.

    If they're out of the race, there's no reason to take that risk. They can play Mayberry every day and allow him to grow accustomed to that role with the hope that he'll be ready to contribute more as a regular next season.

    Of course, that could lead to the Phillies dealing other players, and big names at that.

Laynce Nix

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    Trade Risk: 3

    Laynce Nix is in the same boat as Ty Wigginton in a lot of ways, but is a little less likely to be moved.

    Nix isn't making a ton of money, but he is a role player at his best that has a guaranteed year remaining on his contract for the 2013 season. That could scare some teams away.

    He can't hit left-handed pitching and isn't exactly a whiz on defense at first base or in left field, but he won't kill you there either.

    He could help a contending team down the stretch, but he certainly has his limitations and I can't picture a team going out of their way to acquire him.

Hunter Pence

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    Trade Risk: 7

    If the Phillies fall out of the race early this season, Hunter Pence is the type of player that a lot of teams will have interest in, especially given the weak state of the trade market for outfielders.

    Dealing Pence could be an excellent opportunity for the Phillies to recoup a couple of top prospects—the exact opposite of the scenario that sent Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton, and others to the Houston Astros.

    In regards to a trade, Pence will be coveted by a lot of teams for a few reasons. He's affordable for this season (he should earn about $5 million prorated come the deadline) and is under team control for next season.

    The real question is: Would the Phillies consider trading him?

    At 29-years-old, he is one of the few players on this team in the prime of his career. He's been a hit with the fans and a dream for the marketing department.

    Perhaps it would be wiser for the Phillies, as an organization, to extend Pence's contract and move some of their other big name players?

    That's the only reason I have his trade risk at seven right now. Realistically, his future could go either way at the trade deadline.

Juan Pierre

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    Trade Risk: 5

    I'd peg Juan Pierre's chances of being dealt at 50/50 right now.

    He's not a guy that a lot of teams are going to come looking for because he's in the twilight of his career.

    With that being said, however, Pierre is the type of guy that could help a contending team down the stretch, especially with his speed and ability to handle the bat.

    It wouldn't be a huge deal if it happened and wouldn't save the Phillies much cash, but Pierre could be moved, probably about as much as he could be traded.

Shane Victorino

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    Trade Risk: 9

    Hunter Pence may be the most intriguing trade candidate as far as Phillies' position players go in a lot of peoples' eyes, but in my own, that title belongs to Shane Victorino.

    Here we have a guy that has been with the Phillies through the good and the bad, from the World Series team of 2008 to this club that has gotten off to a horrid start in 2012. Victorino has openly stated that he would take a discount to re-sign with the Phillies this winter.

    He's been an excellent figure in the community and hasn't been too shabby on the baseball field either, so would the Phillies be willing to put all of that aside to part ways with the "Flyin' Hawaiian?"

    Victorino's trade risk is certainly high. A lot of teams would be interested in acquiring him. For once, I have no gut feeling on Victorino's future.

    The Phillies could easily sign him to a team-friendly extension.

    Or, they could trade him to a contender, land a good prospect, and move on.

    I could even see them trading Victorino and re-signing him after the season once he reaches free agency.

    The truth of the matter is that I have no idea what they'll do with him. I just know that his trade risk is very high.