Trade Winds Are Blowing Early: Could Jake Peavy Be Philly-Bound?
The woes of the Phillies starting rotation have now been compounded with the uncertainty surrounding Brett Myers' hip.
Regardless of Myers' health going forward, the Phillies look to be in the hunt for a starting pitcher to be added to the rotation via trade before the July 31 deadline.
The top of the prospective wish list is San Diego Padres ace Jake Peavy. Peavy has made it known that he wants to stay in the National League and pitch for a contender; both of which work in the Phillies favor.
However, with Peavy's full no-trade clause and his desire to stay close to his Southern California home, plucking him away from the Padres may prove to be difficult.
Peavy wants to be a Cub, but Chicago does not appear to be interested in giving up the farm for him. The Phillies, on the other hand, have plenty of prospects to get a deal done.
Shortstop Jason Donald and catcher Lou Marson were rumored to be included in many proposed trades last summer, but the heat has died down on these prospects.
Top pitching prospect Carlos Carrasco may be expendable, but the arm that teams may be looking at the hardest is Antonio Bastardo. Bastardo's 50-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio has drawn comparisons to Johan Santana.
Among others who could be packaged in a deal are outfielders Michael Taylor and Dominic Brown, catcher Travis D'Arnaud, and shortstop Freddy Galvis.
The problem in trading for Peavy is his contract. With many key players on the roster due for pay raises and free agency, would the Phillies have enough to pay Peavy and keep the core of their team around?
In this scenario, Myers' money comes off the books as he is due to hit free agency at the end of season. In defending a world championship, no expense should be spared, but to keep the window of opportunity open could prove costly down the road.
Another starting pitcher that has drawn the Phillies interest is Houston Astros starter Roy Oswalt. Oswalt has not been the Oswalt of old over the past few seasons, but still would provide a solid 1-2 punch if paired with Cole Hamels.
The Phillies have a familiar trade partner in Houston GM and former Phillies GM Ed Wade, who gave away closer Brad Lidge in a deal for outfielder Michael Bourn prior to the 2008 season. Could the Phillies front office pull another fast one on their old friend?
Combined with acquiring a starting pitcher, the Phillies need to look hard at their own farm system to seek a replacement if the time comes to part ways with struggling left hander Jamie Moyer.
Antonio Bastardo is the flavor of the month pick right now, but lurking in Lehigh is the specter of Kyle Kendrick.
An unlikely choice but a promising one is Vance Worley, who has posted a 4-2 record, 2.83 era, and a .208 opponent's batting average in Double-A Reading.
The Phillies need to fix this rotation in a swift fashion in order to contend later on. This situation does not need a band-aid in the form of a Kyle Kendrick or Andrew Carpenter.
It needs the urgency of an acquisition of a solid No. 1 or 2 starter to complement Hamels and shore up this pitching staff.
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