Philadelphia Phillies: 5 Trades to Solve the Offensive Problem

Casey SchermickContributor IIIJune 3, 2011

Philadelphia Phillies: 5 Trades to Solve the Offensive Problem

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    ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 10: Shane Victorino #8, Ben Francisco #10 and Raul Ibanez #29 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrate after the game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on April 10, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Phillies won 3-0. (Photo by Joe R
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    The Phillies have the most wins in the MLB, but they have had many offensive struggles as of late. 

    The Core Four have lived up to the expectations and have pitched very well. The bullpen has been very solid as well.

    The offense however is struggling and is the cause for several losses. The Phillies will most likely make a roster move to bolster the offense before the trade deadline. Here are some options for trades that could help the offense. 

Hunter Pence

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    HOUSTON - MAY 24:  Hunter Pence #9 of the Houston Astros doubles to right field in the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers  at Minute Maid Park on May 24, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Astros Get: John Mayberry, Jr., Pitching Prospect

    There have been several talks recently that the Phillies are interested in pursuing Hunter Pence to fix the outfield problem. Pence is a versatile outfielder with speed and a good glove. At the plate he is a slightly above average hitter who can hit homeruns and drive in runs in key situations.

    He is not much of a base stealing threat, but when the Phillies are completely healthy, they have Rollins, Victorino and Dominic Brown, who are all threats on the basepath. Pence could be a solid outfielder for the Phillies in case of injury or to take over the starting position from Raul Ibanez or Ben Francisco/Dominic Brown.

    The Phillies also have good relations with the Astros because of Ed Wade's tenure in Philadelphia.

Michael Young

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    SEATTLE - MAY 04:  Michael Young #10 of the Texas Rangers bats against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on May 4, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Rangers Get: Relief Pitcher, Prospect

    The Phillies were in talks for targeting Michael Young before the season started before acquiring Cliff Lee. With Lee's salary, the Phillies stepped back from the Young talks and focused on what they had. 

    Now that the outfield is struggling, however, the Phillies could be interested in targeting Young again.

    Young is a very good hitter and currently is in position to take one of the American League All-Star positions. Hitting .336, Young would add another contact bat to the Phillies lineup.

    With players such as Ibanez struggling at the plate, Young could step in and drive-in runs when needed to get on base. 

Jeff Francoeur

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    BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 26:  Jeff Francoeur #21 of the Kansas City Royals in the dugout prior to the Royals game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 26, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Royals Get: Ross Gload, prospect

    The Phillies have shown interest in Francoeur before, and his name could be brought up again.

    He is off to a good start this year with the Royals. He has the potential to hit above .300 and can hit 30+ home runs in a season. He is also a good baserunner. He is 6-for-6 so far in 2011 on stolen base attempts. His 34 RBI's are above the league's average.

    Francoeur has moved around a lot the past few seasons, but he could be a good fit in Philadelphia. 

Colby Rasmus

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 2: Colby Rasmus #28 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a grand slam against the San Francisco Giants at Busch Stadium on June 2, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Cardinals Get: Brad Lidge, John Mayberry, Jr., prospect

    Colby Rasmus could be a long shot for Philadelphia, but there is a small chance.

    He is off to a very good start to his career. In two years, he is averaging over 20 home runs a season. 

    He already has 24 RBI's this season, on pace to be well ahead of his career average. As a .280 hitter right now, he fits in with the majority of the Phillies lineup.

    He would be very difficult to acquire because the Cardinals really like him, but the Phillies may just have the players to pull it off. The Cardinals are looking for a closer, and the Phillies currently have three bullpen arms who have proved that they can be a closer. 

    When Brad Lidge returns, the Phillies could try to offer up him, as well as another young outfielder such as John Mayberry, Jr. and another prospect to get Rasmus. 

Ryan Ludwick

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    PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 17:  Ryan Ludwick #47 of the San Diego Padres bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on May 17, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Padres Get: Prospects

    Ludwick has been mentioned before as a possible outfielder for the Phillies.

    He has a bat with some pop, and he can hit 25+ home runs a year. Over his career, Ludwick has averaged nearly triple digits in RBI's in a season.

    Ludwick would most likely be a temporary option for the Phillies, but then again they have been known to pull off these kinds of deals in the past. 

Use What They Already Have

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    PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 27:  Ben Francisco #10 of the Philadelphia Phillies bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on April 27, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Phillies defeated the Diamondbacks 8-4.  (Photo
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Another simple solution to the offensive problem could be the redundant lineup that the Phillies consistently use. With the Pirates coming up, it could be a good time for Charlie to experiment with the lineup a little bit.

    One thing he could try to do is just switch up the lineup. Ibanez is struggling after a hot start to the month of May. Ibanez is a streaky hitter at the plate, and until he becomes consistent, he could be bringing down the middle of the lineup. 

    One option for the Phillies while Victorino is still out is to start all three young outfielders at once.  An experiment with Brown, Francisco and Mayberry, Jr. could be good for the Phillies. 

    In the infield, Valdez has filled in and has performed very well while Utley was injured. The infield should be set for now barring any more injuries to the starters. The outfield has been the most shaky part of the lineup and a change could either be really good for the Phillies. 

    What's the worst that could happen? They don't perform well?