With the trade deadline just hours away, if deals are going to happen for the Philadelphia Phillies, they're going to happen today.
The thought that the Phillies will sell surely wasn't one that came into fans' minds before the season. The Phils had gone out and signed Jonathan Papelbon to give themselves a bona fide closer. They bolstered their bench by bringing in Jim Thome, Ty Wigginton and Laynce Nix. The bullpen also saw Chad Qualls come to town. With a better bench and bullpen, everything should have gone according to plan. Right?
Wrong. The Phillies, with a record of 45-57, sit in dead last in the NL East by a 16.5 game margin. And after being swept by the Atlanta Braves this past weekend, the Phils' chances of making the Wild Card diminished as well, and with the sweep the Phillies sit 13 games out of the playoffs.
Simply put, all hope for a postseason run and a chance to defend their five consecutive NL East division titles has vanished. The Phillies are sellers this year, no getting around it.
Among the Phillies players on the block are Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence, Joe Blanton, Juan Pierre, Ty Wigginton and possibly Cliff Lee. Some of those names will be playing for different teams come 4 p.m. tomorrow, whereas others will be remaining in Philly for the remainder of the season.
Who the Phillies ship out of town will all depend on the return the Phillies can get in said trades. They'll obviously only do what benefits them. If a trade betters the other team, fine, but if it doesn't improve the Phillies, you can bet that the trade won't get done. That's logical, of course.
A week ago I wrote a slideshow that gave trades the Phillies could make should they go into all-out sell mode. Since then, however, rumors have changed, and this slideshow will reflect the newest, updated rumors. Additionally, the slideshow will also focus on the Phillies making "value trades," or trades that will be worthwhile for the Phillies. They'll be fair to the other team as well so the deal would logically get done, but the Phillies will obviously rake the benefits, too.
Enjoy the read and the trade deadline!
*Prospect rankings are from the 2012 Baseball America Prospect Handbook, which ranked teams' top prospects before the season.