MLB Trade Rumors: Next 2 Months Will Determine Future of Phillies
Has time run out on the Philadelphia Phillies dynasty in the NL East?
The five-time defending champs are currently sitting in last place at 14-18, and have already dug themselves into a five-game hole. A 5-8 home record is a shocker, considering they were 52-29 at Citizen’s Bank at year ago.
As Ryan Howard and Chase Utley continue to slowly comeback from injury, and patience appears to be running thin in the Phillies’ front office.
Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly spoke with general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. recently, and he didn’t sound like a man that was exactly comfortable with the direction his team was heading:
July is so far ahead. We just have to get on track. But if July comes and we’re playing like this, we’ll be sellers. How we play now will determine whether we’ll be buyers or sellers in July.
Every part of the team aside from the starting pitching has been horrific. Entering action on Thursday, the Phillies bullpen ranks dead last in ERA (5.47) and has blown six saves—third worst in baseball.
Jimmy Rollins (.230 avg, six SB) and his brand new contract have struggled, and Shane Victorino isn’t much better (.244 avg, .298 OBP). Aside from Carlos Ruiz, no player on the team is hitting better than .275.
The biggest problem, aside from the shoddy product on the field, is the sky-high payroll. Philly is just under the $178 million luxury-tax threshold. Obviously the front office doesn’t want to get dinged by paying the penalty for crossing it, so the odds of adding any payroll are incredibly slim…unless they start winning.
That means the next two months are going to be monumental for the future of this franchise. If they continue to struggle, a star like Utley may be sent packing. They may even have to trade a player due for a raise like Cole Hamels.
If they turn things around and begin to challenge the Washington Nationals, the team stays intact and adding payroll for a World Series run becomes an option once again.
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