3 Creative Ways Ruben Amaro Can Fix Broken Phillies Bullpen
The Philadelphia Phillies suffered another setback on their way to winning the 2013 NL East crown, as relievers Mike Adams and Jeremy Horst are both done for the year.
According to Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer (via NBC Sports), Adams and Horst are both going to miss the remainder of the season.
Mike Adams did not respond to the conservative treatment for numerous tears in his shoulder. He will likely undergo surgery that could sideline him for the beginning of 2014. Adams is owed $7 million next season.
Lefthander Jeremy Horst’s season is likely over. Soreness in his elbow recurred during a rehab stint at triple-A Lehigh Valley. He visited noted orthopedist James Andrews for a second opinion and was injected with a platelet-rich plasma shot. He will not throw for at least six weeks.
These recent injuries come while Michael Stutes is still on the disabled list with a shoulder problem.
The Phillies now have a very weak bullpen after losing three key pieces, and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. will have to get creative in order to fix the issue and work around expensive contracts like Ryan Howard's.
Assuming that the Phillies are buyers at the deadline, here's how Amaro can rebuild the bullpen.
Acquiring Jim Henderson and Brandon Kintzler
The Milwaukee Brewers have relievers, and they are looking to deal them.
According to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford are both on the trading block. However, both of those guys are too expensive for the Phillies, and Amaro would have to give up serious prospects and have the Brewers eat some of the salary to acquire them.
There are cheaper options in Milwaukee, however, as the 30-year-old Henderson and the 28-year-old Kintzler are making a combined $983,000 this season.
The problem with this trade is that both Henderson and Kintzler are under team control until 2018 or later. The Brewers are not going to part with these guys easily, but the fact that they have such small salaries could entice Amaro into giving up high-level prospects to acquire them.
This won't be a cheap trade. Elite prospects will have to be dealt in order to get this done, and even then, it still might not happen. However, this is exactly the move a desperate Philadelphia team could try to make if it runs out of options.
Cutting a Deal With the Marlins
It's never easy to trade between divisional rivals, but the Miami Marlins have become such a joke that they should be trying to build for the future at all costs.
The Marlins have plenty of bullpen talent with minimal salaries (since they can't afford to pay anyone well), which will certainly interest the Phillies.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has listed Steve Cishek, Mike Dunn and Ryan Webb as those who could be on the move. Amaro will likely inquire about all three of these guys, and depending on the prospects the Marlins are interested in, one or two could be headed to Philly.
None of those guys are free agents before 2016, however, which could drive up the price.
Another guy that could be dealt is Chad Qualls, who is making $1 million this year and is only under team control through 2014. His price could be much lower, and the Phillies wouldn't mind bringing him back.
Trading for Nate Jones and Addison Reed
The Phillies don't have the money and prospects to put together a package for the Chicago White Sox's top relievers like Jesse Crain, but the team can go after cheaper guys.
Nate Jones and Addison Reed are on the trading block, and Jon Heyman reported that everyone other than Chris Sale and Paul Konerko is available for the ChiSox.
Jones and Reed are owed a combined $1.3 million this year, which is cheap enough to interest Amaro. However, they are both under team control until 2018, which is long enough that Chicago will ask for some talented prospects.
The asking price won't be cheap, but at this point, Amaro needs to do something. If he isn't selling, then Jones and Reed might be his best bet.
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