There have been plenty of names swirled around on the trade market lately, with many of the hotter rumors revolving around the Philadelphia Phillies and their first selling deadline in years.
Now, it seems, they're close to pulling the trigger on a trade that would send outfielder Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The teams have engaged in serious talks according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman:
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 31, 2012
Jayson Stark confirmed those rumors with this recent Tweet:
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 31, 2012
When the Dodgers acquired Brandon League, the prospect of them sending a reliever to Philadelphia—who desperately needs young relief pitching for the future—suddenly became more realistic.
Lindblom is ranked 15th on the Dodgers' prospect list by BaseballProspectus.com; he doesn't necessarily have Hall of Fame potential, but he definitely can become a solid setup man for a Phillies team that lacks many at the moment. In fact, besides Jonathan Papelbon, Antonio Bastardo and a recovering Michael Stutes, nobody in the bullpen is a lock to make the roster next season.
Did the Dodgers make the right move?
The "second player" mentioned by Stark could be another prospect, possibly even athletic outfielders James Baldwin or Joc Pederson who would help replenish a depleted Phillies' farm system. With Victorino being a former All-Star, it's unlikely that the Phillies will settle for two mid-level prospects.
This imminent trade means a couple things for the Phillies going forward: The likelihood of trading Hunter Pence has dropped moderately low, seeing as without him the team would have zero Major League talent left in the outfield. Second, the season has apparently been given up with the team 45-57 and 16.5 games behind first place in the NL East.
This move also ends talks between the Phillies and Victorino's other suitors—the Giants and Reds—who will likely be scrambling for other top hitting targets.
For the Dodgers, this move is really a no-brainer. Victorino may be having a down year, but a change of scenery—especially to the city where he was drafted—is all he needs to regain his excellent form. He'll give the team another solid defensive outfielder, decent power hitter and excellent baserunner as they try and emerge victorious in their extremely close division race with the rival Giants.