Philadelphia Phillies Trade Rumors: Last Minute Buzz Ahead of the Deadline
As the July 31st trade deadline is less than 48 hours away, the Philadelphia Phillies and GM Ruben Amaro have been making calls and listening to offers on just about every one of the team's top guys.
Included in this list are Cliff Lee, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Jonathan Papelbon, Carlos Ruiz and Michael Young.
Of course, some of those guys are going to be easier to move, some, as it turns out, the team doesn't want to move and some have no-trade clauses or incredible salaries that it will be near impossible to move.
Whatever the reason, the Phillies have to be considered sellers and it is only a matter of time until they finally trade away some of the veteran stars.
So as the so-called "eleventh hour" approaches, here is the latest trade chatter revolving around the Phillies.
All trade rumors are provided by MLB Trade Rumors unless otherwise stated. All rumors are updated as of Monday July 30, at 1 a.m.
Is Cliff Lee's Asking Price Too High?
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Cliff Lee has been one of the hottest names on the trading block, even if he has only really been there for about a day.
The Phillies and Ruben Amaro originally listed Lee as one of the untouchable players with the intent seeming to be building around Lee as part of the future. But when the Phillies plummeted in the second half, Amaro seemed to be seriously listening to offers on Lee.
As was reported Monday evening by MLB Trade Rumors, the Phillies have been in talks with the Boston Red Sox about acquiring Lee and third baseman Michael Young. The package deal would include Boston shipping three or four top prospects and the Phillies eating approximately half of Lee's massive remaining salary.
Since Xander Bogaerts' name has not been mentioned and Amaro wants Boston to take on Lee's entire salary, it seems unlikely at this juncture that a deal is going to happen.
According to MLB Trade Rumors, the Phillies have discussed possible trades for Lee with multiple teams but the asking price is said to be steep. Unlike the last time Amaro traded Lee, he wants to make sure the Phillies get blue chip prospects in return.
Update: As of 11 p.m. Monday night, it seems the Red Sox have removed themselves from attempts to get Lee. According to Rob Bradford of WEEI, the team found the asking price too high.
Chase Utley Is off the Market
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While Chase Utley was originally a name that sat on the trading block, there was never any indication from within the organization that Amaro and the Phils wanted to trade him. In fact, around the middle of July when talks of selling popped up, Amaro was quoted by Danny Knobler of CBS Sports as saying that he saw Utley as a "Phillie for life."
At first this seemed like wishful thinking at best considering the Phillies and Utley had not to that point even engaged in any extension talks.
However, over the past few days, Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly reported that Amaro had in fact talked with Utley's agent and both sides were trying to work on an extension as Utley doesn't want to be anywhere else and Amaro shares the same sentiments for his second baseman.
According to Jon Heyman, it now seems that Utley has been taken off the market completely as two GMs have reportedly been told that the second baseman is now unavailable as the two sides work on an extension.
Jimmy Rollins Won't Waive His No-Trade Clause
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If the Phillies had planned on trading Jimmy Rollins or at least making him available, that thought was quickly dispelled when the shortstop announced, as per a tweet from Matt Gelb, he would not plan on waiving his no-trade clause if asked.
Rollins, who sits atop the Phillies' all-time list in several offensive categories. wants to stay with the organization to continue to supplant his legacy and to continue to help the team in developing its future. He has also been optimistic about the team's direction and might just want to stay with hopes that he, Utley and Ryan Howard can make one last gallant effort at a championship.
As such, the so-called fearless team leader will not be traded come the deadline.
Jonathan Papelbon's Salary Could Be Preventing a Trade
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Jonathan Papelbon is the best reliever in an awful bullpen and with contending teams always in need of extra bullpen help down the stretch, Papelbon has value on the trading market.
However that value is understated when you look at the $30 million guaranteed he is still owed.
While the Phillies, as per ESPN's Jayson Stark, have been in touch with other teams regarding Papelbon, there are obstacles standing in the way. No team wants to take on that kind of salary and the Phillies have no plans to eat the half or more that would be required for a trade to happen.
And because of that, it seems Papelbon is not going anywhere.
Is Carlos Ruiz Still on the Yankees' Radar?
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While Carlos Ruiz is on the trading block, the Phillies have not been aggressively pushing a trade for their soon-to-be free agent catcher.
Earlier in the month, Ruiz's name was connected with the New York Yankees as they are one of the few teams with a need behind the plate. But since that time, the Yankees have fallen to 7.5 games out in one of the toughest divisions in baseball: the AL East. Only two games back of a wildcard spot, New York might still be set on contending but at this point a deal for Ruiz seems unlikely.
The Phillies would be wise to trade Ruiz as he still has value as a good defensive catcher and game caller. The team also has its future catchers coming though the organization right now.
However, Ruiz's recent downtick in offensive production, coupled with a lowered rate at throwing out base runners and recent issues with injuries, the 34-year-old catcher might not be the most attractive name on the market.
Is Michael Young Headed to the Red Sox?
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At this point, it is all but guaranteed that the Phillies will be trading Michael Young, who is set to become a free agent at the end of this season.
Young was acquired to help the team contend for a playoff spot, with his signing being considered a stopgap to give Cody Asche an added year to develop for the Triple-A Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.
And now that the Phillies are out of contention, Young's name is at the top of the list of guys to get moved.
According to Jayson Stark, Young is open to a trade to just about any contender and is willing to waive his no-trade clause to see it happen. Currently his top suitors are a trio of AL East teams in the Yankees, Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles.
The Red Sox seem to be the most serious contenders and as of late Monday night according to MLB Trade Rumors, although they have since dropped thoughts of Lee as the price is too high, the team remains interested in Young.
With the Phillies having no reason not to trade him, it would be shocking if a deal for Young didn't get done by Wednesday.