Matt Slocum/Associated Press
The Philadelphia Phillies have struggled for much of the season, but are hot right now, having gone 5-2 last week to propel themselves back into the conversation in their division, at least for the time being.
The Phillies have some talent on their roster. The problem is that most of it is aging and overpaid.
If the team starts to tank over the next few weeks, it's possible that they could decide to sell off some of those expensive and aging pieces in order to acquire young talent and/or free up payroll space.
The two pieces the Phillies have that would make the most sense for the O's are starting pitcher A.J. Burnett and second baseman Chase Utley (pictured).
Burnett is a smart pitcher with good stuff, but he can be inconsistent at times. The O's tried to lure the righty to Baltimore last offseason, but Burnett apparently had no interest in pitching for an AL team. Burnett could provide a cheaper option prospect-wise for the O's to solidify their rotation, especially if they take on the entirety of his remaining contract. But again, much of their interest in starting pitchers this summer will be tied to how Gausman performs for the next few weeks.
Utley would be a more difficult acquisition. After signing an extension to stay in Philadelphia last summer, it would be hard to imagine Utley waving his 10-and-5 rights just a year later (for those unaware, 10-and-5 rights is the right for a player to veto any trade once he has spent 10 years in the bigs and five for the same team). And given the level at which Utley plays the game, the O's will likely need to offer a good prospect or two AND take on the second baseman's contract.
Still though, wouldn't it be great to see Utley's bat in the O's lineup?