MLB Trade Rumors: 10 Deadline Targets to Bolster Philadelphia Phillies' Offense
With Chase Utley's future in doubt for the rest of the season, The Philadelphia Phillies are going to have to make a move at the trade deadline in order to bolster their offense for the postseason run.
So far the Phillies have gotten by with their offense. They have scored 22 runs in the first four games.
A good start by Ben Francisco and Ryan Howard have paced the Phillies. The two combined to knock in 10 of those runs.
In order for the Phillies to remain consistent and contend for another World Series appearance, they are going to have to get another bat in their lineup via trade, especially if Utley is out for an extending period of time.
Here are 10 players who the Phillies could target as we near the deadline.
2B Mark Ellis
The worst case scenario. Suppose Chase Utley does not play this season.
The Phillies would then have to try to make a deal for a new 2B. Wilson Valdez is a good replacement and filled in very well last season, but the Phillies need an upgrade and a more potent bat.
Mark Ellis is a career .268 hitter who has some pop.
He does not strike out too much, so that would help a strikeout-prone Phillies lineup.
Ellis also is a good defender who has a career .989 fielding percentage.
2B/SS Clint Barmes
Another rental option for the Phils would be Clint Barmes, formerly of the Colorado Rockies.
The 2B/SS is currently sidelined with a fractured hand and did not play in the season opening series against Philadelphia.
Barmes would be an even better fit in the Phillies lineup than Ellis. Barmes has great power for a middle infielder.
When given the opportunity to play, Barmes has proven that he can play and produce. He hit 23 HR and 76 RBI in his last full season with Colorado.
Barmes would fit in nicely at the seventh spot in the order.
RF/1B Michael Cuddyer
Ken Rosenthal is reporting to watch out for the Twins to cut ties with one or two of their OF by the deadline.
Michael Cuddyer has been a staple in the Twins since 2004. When healthy, he has been a consistent 20 HR 80 RBI player.
Cuddyer would help replace Utley's power and could possibly even bat in the three or five hole.
He could spare Raul Ibanez against lefties and platoon with Ben Francisco.
2B/SS Felipe Lopez
Felipe Lopez has been one of the best utilitymen in baseball the past few seasons.
Lopez can pretty much play anywhere on the field and is not a liability at any position.
His offense is sporadic though. He is a player that hits for average.
He would be a good fit on the Phillies bench and could spare Jimmy Rollins some days and start in place of an injured Chase Utley.
3B Jorge Cantu
I don't know about you guys, but I am tired of seeing Jorge Cantu pound the Phillies.
Cantu would be another right handed bat to be used off the bench in late game situations.
Cantu could also spare Placido Polanco and Ryan Howard at 3B and 1B respectively.
His defense is adequate at best, so he should not get much time in the field.
He would be best put to use as a pinch hitter off the bench when the Phillies are looking for a HR.
2B Kelly Johnson
Kelly Johnson has resurrected his career in Arizona.
Last season Johnson hit .284 with 26 HR and 71 RBI.
The Braves let Johnson go after having a poor 2009 campaign.
Adding Johnson to the lineup would make the Phillies a left handed heavy lineup again. That would be the only downside to him coming to Philly.
If Utley were to return, Johnson has experience playing the outfield and could spare one of the OF from time to time.
LF Josh Willingham
Josh Willingham is another Athletic that will potentially be on the market at the deadline.
Willingham signed just a one year deal with Oakland this past offseason.
He would be another player that could platoon in the OF with Raul Ibanez in LF.
Willingham could even be a possible replacement for Ibanez after this season as well.
He would balance out the Phillies lineup who would not lose any power if Willingham was the replacement for 2012.
2B/3B Jose Lopez
Jose Lopez could be another option for an IF. However, the Rockies would have to fall out of playoff contention for them to even think about letting him go.
Lopez can play 2B, 1B and 3B so his flexibility is what would help the Phillies the most.
If Placido Polanco were to go down or his elbow began to bother him again, the Phillies really do not have a backup option here.
Lopez would provide defensive flexibility. He also provides power on the offensive side with the ability to drive in runs.
2B Aaron Hill
Just this week, the Blue Jays declined Aaron Hill's options for the next three seasons.
After a tremendous 2008, Hill had a rough 2009 season.
His average dropped .081 points from the previous year.
Hill was a breakout player in 2008 and if he can get back to playing like 2008, the Phillies could desperately use his bat in the middle of the lineup.
3B Michael Young
Apparently, the Rangers "haven't closed the door" on the Michael Young trade talks just yet.
Young, after the signing of Adrian Beltre this offseason, requested to be traded because he was "misled" by the organization.
If Young is indeed still on the block come August, the Phillies should keep an eye on the offers.
If Chase Utley still is out, it would be wise for the Phillies to acquire the star 3B. Young has played 2B before. The Phillies could also move Placido Polanco back to 2B.
The only thing that could hold the Phils back is the $48 million left on Young's contract.