The Philadelphia Phillies have been a very good team for the past decade with zero sub-.500 finishes, five division championships and a World Series title. They even cracked my "10 Most Brilliantly Run Franchises" list. So why have so many big-name Phillies players been so prominent in trade rumors this season?
Here's why. They weren't expected to place any higher than third in the division with the Braves and Nationals popular picks for division winners and World Series hopefuls. Combine that with an aging roster that included several veterans eligible for free agency after the season and little help on the way from the upper minors. It made plenty of sense to write this team off in early April.
The loss of Roy Halladay to a partial rotator cuff tear didn't help ease the trade rumors and a team that has played uninspired baseball through 79 games (38-41) has only added fuel to the Hot Stove.
Despite all that, they're only seven games back of a playoff spot. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. would rather add to his 25-man roster and make another possible last run with this core of players, but the reality is that he'll have no choice but to "sell" if his team falls any further back in the next month. Given the talent on the roster, it wouldn't be a surprise if things didn't get better.
This team has to get younger in 2014 and Amaro would have a head start by shopping all free-agents-to-be on his roster and possibly even a player or two under contract for a few more seasons in order to bring back some elite prospects to a farm system sorely lacking in high-end talent.
Here are the five players that will generate the most interest and a perfect trade scenario for each.