Philadelphia Phillies Trade Rumors: Latest Updates, News and Reaction

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2014

Philadelphia Phillies Trade Rumors: Latest Updates, News and Reaction

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    No team will be in a more interesting situation at the 2014 MLB trade deadline than the Philadelphia Phillies.

    They have been near the bottom of the National League East for a while now. However, due to being in a weak division, they are still in contention. That combination presents an interesting dilemma for ownership.

    Are the Phillies buyers or sellers?

    Should the team decide that it is a seller, it has a few veteran players whom it could try to move. The Phillies could find it difficult to get some good pieces back at the deadline because some of their best assets have no-trade clauses. 

    The next three weeks or so will go a long way in determining what the team does at the deadline. Philadelphia has the veteran pieces to make a run at the postseason, but it may not be talented enough to overcome an early-season deficit in the NL East.

    Make sure to keep checking back here to see what rumors the Phillies are involved in or what deals the team makes as the MLB trade deadline approaches.

Done Deals

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    July 28: Released OF Tony Gwynn Jr.

The Latest on Marlon Byrd

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    Marlon Byrd may not be the biggest name that the Phillies may look at dealing at the deadline, but he may be a player who could be on the trading block.

    The 36-year-old signed a two-year, $16 million deal in the offseason and has a very limited no-trade clause.'s Jim Salisbury reported that Byrd can block a trade to the Seattle Mariners, the Kansas City Royals, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays.

    Update: July 31 at 3:36 p.m. ET

    The New York Yankees are out of the mix for Marlon Byrd, according to ESPN's Jayson Stark.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 31 at 11 a.m. ET

    The asking price for Marlon Byrd is "extremely high," according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. The Phillies reportedly handed the Mariners a list of three good prospects they were interested in and told Seattle to pick two from the list in exchange for Byrd. That is believed to be one of the reasons as to why the Mariners backed off.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 30 at 4:35 p.m. ET

    Marlon Byrd's situation isn't getting any clearer, according to ESPN's Jayson Stark. Stark tweeted that the Seattle Mariners are "out" on the outfielder and the New York Yankees are not a fan of his 2016 option.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 28 at 2:55 p.m. ET

    The Pittsburgh Pirates are interested in Marlon Byrd, according to Fox Sports' Jon Morosi

    Last season, the Pirates acquired Byrd in a midseason trade. The veteran outfielder turned out to be a good add as he gave the team a solid bat for the middle of the lineup.

    The Pirates may be interested to some extent, but this seems like a long shot. Byrd's $8 million per season is a steep price for a team like Pittsburgh. Plus, when the Pirates are healthy, they don't have a spot for Byrd in the outfield. 

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 28 at 2:55 p.m. ET

    Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal has some new details on Marlon Byrd's current situation. Rosenthal reported that Byrd is not an option for the Kansas City Royals, and he will only waive his no-trade clause for the Seattle Mariners if they picked up his 2016 option.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 20 at 6:20 p.m. ET's Jim Salisbury reported that the Cincinnati Reds are interested in Marlon Byrd. The Reds are not one of the teams on the outfielder's limited no-trade clause.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 20 at 1:40 p.m. ET

    If the Philadelphia Phillies are going to trade Marlon Byrd at the deadline, they may have to talk the outfielder in to waiving his no-trade clause. The Seattle Mariners have been linked to the veteran, and now the Kansas City Royals are reportedly interested.

    Fox Sports' Jon Morosi reported that the Royals, a team on Byrd's limited no-trade clause, are interested in the outfielder if they decide to be buyers. At 48-48, there's no guarantee that they will be buyers, however.

    --End of Update--


    The Seattle Times' Ryan Divish reported that the Mariners have had "serious discussions" with the Phillies about the outfielder and that he may be willing to wave his no-trade clause. According to Salisbury, the Mariners and the Royals "were just put on [the no-trade clause] at the time being.” The Rays and Blue Jays were put on there because they both play on artificial turf, which can be hard on a body.

    This season, Byrd is hitting .265 with 18 home runs, 20 home runs, two triples and 54 RBI. 

    Of course, it wouldn't be new to Byrd to be traded during the season. Last year, the New York Mets traded the outfielder to the Pittsburgh Pirates. All he did in his new home was slash .318/.357/.486 and hit three home runs and nine doubles in 30 games. With Byrd's help, the Pirates made the playoffs and made it to the National League Division Series.

    Does Byrd want to be traded? Here's what he had to say on the possibility of a trade, via Salisbury: 

    I don’t want to get traded. I signed a two-year deal here for a reason. The thought process was to retire as a Phillie. At the same time, this is a business and I know how it works. If trading me makes the organization better, I have to go with it.

    Byrd has played for seven teams in his 13-year career. If the Phillies shop him, he could add to that number.

The Latest on A.J. Burnett

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    If the Philadelphia Phillies do decide to sell at the deadline, they could try to trade A.J. Burnett. However, like most of his veteran teammates, he may not be the easiest player to move.

    Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal wrote that the Phillies may explore a trade involving Burnett at the deadline.

    Update: July 31 at 11:28 a.m. ET

    The Phillies and the Royals are still discussing A.J. Burnett, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 30 at 2 p.m. ET

    According to's Jim Salisbury, the Phillies and the Royals have talked recently about A.J. Burnett.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 29 at 5:30 p.m. ET

    Talks between the Pirates and Phillies about a potential Burnett deal are "all but dead," according to ESPN's Jayson Stark. Pittsburgh simply isn't believing Philadelphia when it says that Burnett is going to retire after the season and has concerns that the veteran would exercise his player option for 2015.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 29 at 4:43 p.m. ET

    The Kansas City Royals are interested in Burnett, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, though, as previously noted with other clubs, his player option for 2015 is a hurdle that will have to be dealt with.

    While the Royals are believed to be able to add some salary to their payroll this season, the money due Burnett, both for the duration of this season and next year, may be too much for them to absorb.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 22 at 12:50 p.m. ET

    Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported that if A.J. Burnett gets traded, he would prefer to return to the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, his player option may be an issue for the Pirates.

    ESPN's Jerry Crasnick also reported which teams the Phillies can trade Burnett to without his permission:

    That list shouldn't come as much of a surprise. All of those teams are either contenders or close to his home in Maryland.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 21 at 10 a.m. ET

    The Philadelphia Inquirer's Matt Gelb reported that the Pittsburgh Pirates scouted A.J. Burnett's last start. Burnett pitched for the Pirates from 2012-13, going 26-21 with a 3.41 ERA in 61 starts.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 20 at 1:30 p.m. ET

    CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported that the Philadelphia Phillies and the Baltimore Orioles have talked about A.J. Burnett, but there's "not too much" to the talks.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 19 at 3:30 p.m. ET

    Fox Sports' Jon Morosi reported that the Philadelphia Phillies and the Baltimore Orioles have had preliminary talks about a possible deal involving A.J. Burnett. The Orioles were one of the teams Burnett considered signing with over the winter.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 14 at 12:20 a.m. ET

    A.J. Burnett talked about the possibility of being traded, via's Todd Zolecki:

    I signed here to play here. I'm not a guy who looks for an out or wants to get out because things aren't going the right way. If that happens, then it happens, but I'm not looking to move on. This is my team. I understand how things work, but I'm trying not to worry about it. I just try to go about my business and enjoy my teammates.

    When asked about what he would say if the Phillies asked him to waive his no-trade clause, the pitcher didn't have a definitive answer.

    "I have no clue what I would say," Burnett said. "I guess it depends on what he says," he said. "I wouldn't know until it's brought to me.

    --End of Update--


    Although the right-hander is only due $3.75 million in salary the rest of the season, there are two things that may prevent a trade:

    • Limited no-trade clause: Burnett can block a deal to 21 teams
    • 2015 option

    The contract that he signed with the Phillies over the winter includes a $15 million mutual option or a player option that could be worth up to $12.75 million, according to Rosenthal. As leverage, Burnett could force a team to pick up the $15 million option before waiving his no-trade clause.

    The 37-year-old is 5-7 with a 3.89 ERA in 17 starts with Philadelphia this season. His stats are slightly down from last season, but he is still putting up quality numbers. 

    He isn't due a lot of money for years to come, which separates him from some of his teammates. That lack of long-term commitment should entice opposing teams. Should Philadelphia decide to rebuild, Burnett could be a player on the move.

Phillies Will Not 'Give Away' Players at Deadline

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    Although the Philadelphia Phillies have a lot of players on the trade block, they aren't having much luck unloading anyone.

    With 17 hours until the trade deadline, Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported that Philadelphia has yet to receive an "acceptable offer" for any of their players. Rosenthal also tweeted that the Phillies will not "give away" players at the deadline just to clear payroll. The Phillies don't need to shed payroll and can always try to make trades in the offseason.

    Recent reports have indicated that the Phillies are asking for a lot in return for their players, especially Cole Hamels. The players might be "available," but some rival executives don't believe that the team is serious about trading away players.

Potential Trade Candidate: LHP Antonio Bastardo

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    If the Phillies sell at the deadline, one player likely to go is left-hander Antonio Bastardo.

    Update: July 30 at 5:30 p.m. ET's Jayson Stark reported that the New York Yankees are interested in Antonio Bastardo in efforts to add bullpen depth.

    --End of Update-


    Update: July 30 at 2 p.m. ET

    According to's Jim Salisbury, the Kansas City Royals have been keeping tabs on Antonio Bastardo.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 21 at 10:45 p.m. ET

    Fox Sports' Jon Morosi reported that the Detroit Tigers, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Pittsburgh Pirates are all interested in Antonio Bastardo. Scouts from all three teams saw him pitch on Monday night.

    --End of Update--

    Philadelphia has a couple of internal options to use as left-handed relievers, so Bastardo is expendable. The veteran has not pitched for anyone besides the Phillies in his six-year career. He has compiled a 3.60 ERA in 250 career games.

    The 28-year-old is currently 4-3 with a 3.32 ERA in 42 games this season. He has 51 strikeouts to 24 walks in 42.2 innings.

    Bastardo will be eligible for arbitration for the third time this winter.'s Jim Salisbury reported that the Cincinnati Reds are interested in the southpaw as they look to add a left-handed reliever.

LHP Cliff Lee Unlikely to Be Dealt Before Trade Deadline

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    Update: July 30 at 1:50 p.m. ET

    The Philadelphia Phillies will be willing to pay some of Lee's remaining contract if they are able to get the "right prospects," according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.

    If Lee isn't traded before the deadline, Heyman noted that there is still a chance that the Phillies could deal him in August.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 29 at 5:35 p.m. ET

    Other teams are telling ESPN's Jayson Stark that the Phillies haven't given up on moving Lee before the July 31 deadline, but notes that the team is still asking for "major prospects" in return.

    Lee hasn't exactly wowed contenders with his performance since returning from the disabled list, pitching to a 7.59 ERA and 2.25 WHIP while opponents are hitting .438 with a 1.064 OPS.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 28 at 10 a.m. ET

    The Philadelphia Inquirer's Matt Gelb wrote that the Cliff Lee is unlikely to be traded at the deadline. Between the southpaw's contract and recent performance (and injury concerns), other teams may be unwilling to take a chance on him. 

    Although he is unlikely to be traded this week, the Phillies are expected to put him on waivers in August. If he shows that he can return to old form by then, teams may be more willing to make a play for him.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 22 at 11 a.m. ET

    Cliff Lee returned to the Phillies rotation on Monday. The southpaw took the loss against the San Francisco Giants, as he allowed six runs on 12 hits and a walk in 5.2 innings. It was his first start since the middle of May, so there was bound to be some rust.'s Jerry Crasnick reported that Lee can block a trade to 20 teams. Check out the teams that he cannot block a trade to:

    There is something in common about most of the teams on that list; most of them could not afford to take on Lee's contract. Outside of the Atlanta Braves, the New York Mets and perhaps the Washington Nationals, none of the teams on that list have the payroll to take on Lee's contract. That gives Lee a lot of control as to where he would end up in a possible trade.

    Lee is still guaranteed $48.5 million through the end of next season, thanks to a $12.5 million buyout on the option for the 2016 season.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 21 at 10 a.m. ET's Jim Salisbury reported that the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays scouted Cliff Lee's last rehab start. The Yankees have been linked to Lee many times in the past, but they have yet to put him in pinstripes. With a lot of injuries to their starting rotation, New York could make a play for the southpaw.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 18 at 10 a.m. ET

    CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported that the Phillies are reportedly more interested in trading Cliff Lee than Cole Hamels.

    --End of Update--


    The New York Daily News' Mark Feinsand wrote that the New York Yankees could be interested in Lee if the southpaw is healthy before the trade deadline. They are one of the only teams that would be able to take on the pitcher's big contract.

    However, teams probably wouldn't consider dealing for him without seeing if his throwing elbow is healthy.'s Jayson Stark reported that the southpaw is expected to be back around the All-Star break.

    Lee, who is 4-4 with a 3.18 ERA in 10 starts, hasn't pitched since May 18. If the Phillies fall out of contention by the time the deadline comes, they could explore the idea of trading the star left-hander.

The Latest on Cole Hamels

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    Philadelphia will face a tough call with Cole Hamels, should it decide to sell at the deadline.

    Update: July 30 at 12:20 p.m. ET

    CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported that the Phillies have asked the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers for a package of top prospects in exchange for Hamels.

    The Phillies' demands reportedly have rival executives believing that the team doesn't intend to trade the southpaw. 

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 29 at 11:02 p.m. ET

    Contrary to earlier reports, Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Phillies have not made any specific requests of any team regarding a potential deal for Hamels, nor have they received any offers.

    With no meaningful dialogue going on surrounding their ace, a source describes a Hamels trade as the "least likely" among everything that they are considering, per Rosenthal.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 29 at 6:25 p.m. ET

    The Dodgers inquired about Hamels and were told it would take a package that included the team's top three prospects: outfielder Joc Pederson, infielder Corey Seager and right-handed pitcher Julio Urias, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

    That matches up with earlier reports that said the Phillies wanted a team's top three or four prospects for Hamels. Between the team's high asking price and the substantial money left on his deal, Philadelphia is going to have a hard time finding a willing trade partner.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 28 at 5 p.m. ET

    ESPN's Jayson Stark confirmed Nick Cafardo's report that the Phillies will listen to offers on Cole Hamels but that the asking price is extremely high. Stark reported that Philadelphia wants a team's top three or top four prospects for Hamels. Stark also reported that the Phillies has told teams that they are willing to pay $10 million of Hamels' remaining contract.   

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 28 at 3:52 p.m. ET

    Fox Sports' Jon Morosi reported that the Philadelphia Phillies have made Cole Hamels available, for the right price. He reported that the Los Angeles Dodgers are interested in the front-of-the-rotation pitcher. 

    The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo recently reported that the Phillies want four to five prospects in return, and Morosi confirmed that the price for the southpaw is high.

    Los Angeles has some good prospects and the ability to take on a big contract, so stay tuned to see if the Dodgers make a legitimate run at Hamels.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 28 at 8 a.m. ET

    The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo wrote that the Phillies are looking for four to five prospects in any deal involving Cole Hamels. That reportedly has some teams believing that Philadelphia wants too much for it's players, but the Phillies want a fair deal.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 21 at 11:45 p.m. ET

    ESPN's Buster Olney reported that the Phillies are telling teams that Cole Hamels is not available.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 21 at 10 a.m. ET

    CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported that the Boston Red Sox are interested in Cole Hamels. However, Heyman wonders if Boston's interest in Hamels could be a way to gain leverage in extension talks with Jon Lester.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 18 at 10 a.m. ET

    A baseball source tells's Rob Bradford that Philadelphia is currently "showing no inclination" to trade Cole Hamels. 

    CBS Sports' Jon Heyman followed up that report by writing that the Phillies are reportedly more interested in trading Cliff Lee than Hamels.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET

    Hamels' no-trade clause allows him to block a trade to 20 teams. FOX Sports' Jon Morosi listed the nine teams that the Phillies can trade the left-hander to without his permission:

    Hamels is from California, so it should come as no surprise that he didn't include several teams from the state in his no-trade clause.

    --End of Update--


    The 30-year-old can be the leader of the staff for the next few years, so it would obviously be tough to trade him. However, the southpaw may have the most value of any player on the team.

    He has a 2.84 ERA and a 1.184 WHIP in 88.2 innings over his first 13 starts of 2014. His strikeouts per nine innings are up, and his home runs per nine are down. 

    Not only are his numbers good this season, but he is locked up for the next few years. The three-time All-Star is owed $90 million over the next four seasons. Paying a starting pitcher more than $20 million per season is a hefty price to pay, but for the big-market teams, he's worth the money.

    Trading Hamels would help Philadelphia build for the future, but he could also be a part of the team's future if it dealt away other pieces. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal believes that the Phillies will listen to teams interested in Hamels, so if a team is willing to offer a lot, it may be too much for Philadelphia to refuse.

The Latest on Jonathan Papelbon

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    Expect Jonathan Papelbon's name to be floating around at the traded deadline once again. The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo wrote that if the Phillies would eat some of the closer's salary, teams may be interested in making a trade for the five-time All-Star.

    Update: July 28 at 1:30 p.m. ET

    Trading Jonathan Papelbon won't be easy for the Phillies. The money owed to him may make it tough to move him, but his no-trade clause will definitely come into play.

    According to The New York Post's Joel Sherman, Papelbon has told the Phillies that he will not waive his no-trade clause unless he is guaranteed to be the new team's closer. Papelbon has 311 career saves, so he is not interested in being a setup man or sharing the closer's job.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 17 at 9 p.m. ET

    ESPN Los Angeles' Mark Saxon followed up his previous report with one that shoots down the other. Saxon reported that the Los Angeles Dodgers are not interested in Jonathan Papelbon. 

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 16 at 11:30 p.m. ET

    ESPN Los Angeles' Mark Saxon reported that a baseball source expects the Los Angeles Dodgers to make a run at Papelbon. The Dodgers are one of the teams that would be able to take on the closer's contract, so there is a possible match.

    --End of Update--


    Update: July 10 at 10 a.m. ET

    Unlike some of the other veterans on the team, Papelbon appears more than willing to waive his no-trade clause if it takes him to a contender. The Philly Inquirer's Matt Gelb tweeted that Papelbon said he'd accept a trade if it gave him a chance to win.

    --End of Update--

    However, every time that his name has been mentioned in past trade rumors, money has always been a big issue. He is owed $13 million this season and next, and he has a $13 million vesting option for the 2016 season. 

    Although he is due a lot of money, the closer is having one of the best seasons of his career. He has posted a 1.44 ERA and a 0.957 WHIP in his first 32 appearances of 2014, along with only nine walks. Opposing batters are only hitting .189 against him this season.

    Papelbon has been outstanding this season, so a team in need of a shutdown closer may be willing to make a deal for him, especially if Philadelphia is willing to absorb some of his salary.

Potential Trade Candidate: 1B Ryan Howard

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    If reports are true, the Philadelphia Phillies are willing to do whatever it takes to get rid of first baseman Ryan Howard.

    Update: July 25 at 11:15 a.m. ET

    Philadelphia Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has denied that the club has considered releasing Ryan Howard, via's Jam Salisbury:

    That is not something we are contemplating. I don’t know where that’s coming from.

    Our goal is to try to get Ryan Howard straightened out so he can be a more productive player for us. As I’ve said in the past, I don’t expect him to be the Ryan Howard of 2006, 2007, 2008. What we expect is him to perform better than he is. I know he’s a better player than this.

    Has to keep working and it’s up to us to help facilitate that. That’s on him and on us to help him get back to being a productive player.

    --End of Update--

    On Wednesday,'s Jim Salisbury reported that the team has discussed paying off Howard in the offseason and releasing him. A day later, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported that the club is willing to eat most of the $70 million remaining on Howard's contract.

    At $25 million, Howard is the highest-paid position player in baseball. He is due to make $25 million in each of the next two seasons and has a $23 million option, with a $10 million buyout, for the 2017 season.

    The 34-year-old's production isn't what it once was, and he is having a hard time getting on the field. Since the beginning of the 2011 season, the first baseman has played in only 248 games. He has recently been benched for lack of production.

    In 2014, Howard is hitting .224 with 15 home runs, 10 doubles and 60 RBI. This is the same player who clubbed at least 30 home runs and drove in over 100 runs per season from 2006-2011.

    Howard won the 2006 National League Rookie of the Year, the 2006 NL Most Valuable Player award and is a three-time All-Star. He also helped bring a World Series to Philadelphia. Unfortunately, his best years are behind him.

    The veteran can block a trade to 20 teams, but given his current situation, he may be willing to waive his no-trade clause.

    Howard would be best suited for the American League, where he could DH or play first. Depending on how much money the Phillies are willing to eat, they could find a taker.

Potential Trade Candidate: 2B Chase Utley

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    Chase Utley may be the team's best asset, but it's very unlikely that he will be traded.

    The second baseman has gotten his career back on track the past two seasons and is a lock to make his sixth All-Star team this year. He is hitting .296 with six home runs and 37 RBI through the first 74 games of the 2014 season. Those are pretty good numbers for a 35-year-old.

    He has been able to stay healthy and swing a good bat this year. But if the Phillies want to build for the future, dealing their star second baseman would bring a lot back in return.

    However, it's easier said than done.'s Todd Zolecki reported that Utley, who has 10-and-5 rights, does not intend to waive his no-trade clause:

    I guess we'd have to see at that point, but I don't plan on going anywhere.

    Last year, re-signing here was something I really wanted to do. Great organization. Nothing has changed since then.

    That sounds like a player who doesn't plan on changing uniforms.

Potential Trade Candidate: SS Jimmy Rollins

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    Another longtime Philadelphia star could find himself in rumors throughout July.

    Jimmy Rollins, who became the Phillies' all-time hits leader earlier this season, is sure to be involved in rumors, should the team decide to sell at the deadline. 

    Rollins, who has 10-and-5 rights, would consider waiving his no-trade clause if the situation was right, via USA Today's Bob Nightengale:

    They would have to come up with a reason for me to leave. I'm not saying it would never happen. I will be a free agent at some point.

    Now, if they tell me to go, then I got no choice. I'll go. If you make it that clear that you don't want me, you don't have to tell me twice.

    Earlier this year, Rollins made it clear that he wasn't intending to waive his no-trade clause. It sounds like he has slightly changed his tune and may consider waiving his no-trade clause in the event that the Phillies decide to rebuild. 

    He has spent his entire 15-year career in Philadelphia, but if the situation is right, he may end up wearing a different uniform later this season.