During the MLB All-Star break, players and fans alike took a four-day breather from the rigorous 162-game season to celebrate the best players in the game and to focus on other priorities for a few days. From a fan perspective, this could not have been any truer for supporters of the Philadelphia Phillies, who have watched the team go 43-55 and sit 11 games out in last place in the National League East division.
Consequently, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has publicly said that changes are coming to this team (per CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury). Whether that's in the form of trades, minor league promotions or both, it's worth noting that this is arguably the most candid Amaro has ever been concerning the state of the team during his tenure as Phillies GM.
So where does Amaro go from here? It's almost a foregone conclusion that the Phillies will sell at this year's trade deadline. Given the lack of production on the major league team and the lack of offense and starting pitching depth throughout the organization (per Marc Narducci of The Philadelphia Inquirer), the Phillies need to—and for once, likely will—make as many moves as possible to replenish the dearth of talent in the farm system.
Amaro's job could also hang in the balance of this trade deadline. In a radio interview with 97.5 The Fanatic's Mike Missanelli, Amaro was asked if he has been guaranteed an offseason to clean up this mess. Although Amaro did not explicitly say he has not been given that promise, he was dodgy in his answer and it led to an inferred conclusion that that is indeed the case.
This trade deadline is both the most important for the Phillies and for Amaro in recent history. On the brink of what will likely be a full-out rebuilding phase, the Phillies need to get pieces to jump-start the process.
Amaro is responsible for bringing in talent—and the right talent at that—to create the future for the Phillies. The difference between years past and 2014, however, is that Amaro has no margin for error. If Amaro makes even a slight mistake, it could mean the difference between his employment after 2014 and a new general manager at the helm in 2015.
Due to the Phillies' current state, all trades in this slideshow will be of the selling variety. The Phillies are not in a position to be acquiring talent by surrendering the few minor league pieces they have. There are no spare parts, and that's what needs to change going forward.
Please keep in mind as well that the following list of trades, which are based on rumor, speculation or both, are not all intended to happen. Rather, any of the following trades are meant to be feasible possibilities, but it's not like the Phillies will likely be making 10 trades in the span of roughly 10 days.
Ladies and gentlemen, with that in mind, here are 10 realistic trades the Phillies could make at or before the 2014 MLB non-waiver trade deadline.
*All prospect rankings and commentary are courtesy of Baseball America's 2014 Prospect Handbook unless otherwise noted. All contract information courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.