The Phillies, who came into the season with a healthy roster, have failed to live up to their initially middling expectations, and currently sit at 9-11. They are fourth in the NL East, ahead of only the 4-15 Miami Marlins, who are the worst team in baseball.
While it is certainly early to be thinking about realistic outcomes at the July 31 trade deadline, it's never too early to speculate on who may be dealt by Philadelphia.
At this point, should the Phillies' mediocre trends continue, they are bound to be sellers at the deadline. In fact, with players coming off the payroll like Chase Utley, Michael Young, Carlos Ruiz and most likely Roy Halladay, the fire sale could be even bigger than last year's when Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence and Joe Blanton were ushered out of Philadelphia.
Not only are impending free agents potential trade chips, but established veterans under team control for a few years are also appealing.
Headlining this distinction of Phillies is Cliff Lee. Although under contract for three more years at a minimum of $87.5 million, including this year, Lee has value and could be worthy as a legitimate ace for a team in need of one.
Here's a list of five players and the team that, at this point in the season, would be the best fit, both from the perspective of positional need and valuable assets to trade in return.
*All statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com. All prospect rankings and information courtesy of Baseball America Prospect Handbook unless otherwise noted. All contract information courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.