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MLB Trade Deadline: Philadelphia Phillies Trade Possibilities

Evan GuszContributor IIJuly 23, 2011

MLB Trade Deadline: Philadelphia Phillies Trade Possibilities

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    As the trade deadline approaches and the trade headlines proliferate, I find myself really pondering what deals I think would be acceptable.  

    There's obviously a lot of talk going around, and sometimes it's hard to look at all the candidates out there. This is a player by player look at a few of the likely (and one unlikely) candidates.

    To start, let me say that there are a few Phillies I will rule as untouchable.  They include Dominic Brown and Vance Worley.  Given that they are financially controllable for the next five years, if I were in charge, I wouldn't let either out of my hands if you offered me practically anybody (Jose Bautista notwithstanding).

    The financial aspect with these guys has to be taken into consideration given the Phillies current and near-future payroll commitments.

    I've heard a lot of Vance Worley-JA Happ comparisons, but they are not the same pitcher, and it's not the same situation, as Cliff Lee's salary if now involved.  It remains to be seen, but I think Worley has a high ceiling and as such, I wouldn't trade him.

    So let's take a look at what I would be in favor of.

Carlos Beltran

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    I would love to see Carlos Beltran in a Phillies uniform if it came at the right price  He is having a great year after recovering from several injuries to his legs over the past few years. 

    He has an excellent record of postseason performance to go along with his All-Star numbers this year.  However, with all that being said, I would not be willing to give up a huge package of top prospects for him. 

    He has a no-arbitration clause in his contract, so if he walks at season's end, there's no consolation of compensatory draft picks granted to his former team.  This is a bigger deal than most people think.  

    It really means you are actually giving up more for him than what you are actually trading by not getting anything back in return.  So what would I give up for him? 

    Either Matt Rizzoti or Jonathan Singleton, both excellent first base prospects and one of the many lower A ball pitching prospects and one other lower A prospects.  Three prospects and nothing more. 

    However, given the heat on Beltran, I suspect the Phillies will end up walking away from this.  

    And I want to bring up another quick point here. Does anyone believe that one more piece is going to be the difference in winning a World Series Championship?  With the team that they have, is one more player really going to put them over the top?  

    When I ask myself that question I can't honestly answer yes.  With their pitching and their lineup and their bullpen as it is, they should have more than enough.

    It's like buying an extra lottery ticket. With the odds the way they are, that one extra won't actually change anything and put you in a better position to win.  

    Basically, what it comes down to is that if they can’t do it with what they’ve got, they can’t do it.  The good news is, they can do it with what they've got.

Jeff Francoeur

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    This, I believe, would be the best fit for the Phils.  I don't think you'd have to give up too much to get him, and he would make a nice difference both offensively and defensively. 

    I really think his defensive contributions are being overlooked when people look at a trade for him.  He has one of the best arms in baseball, and his mere presence in the outfield will keep baserunners from attempting that extra base and/or trying to score. 

    That type of impact should be considered when contemplating a trade.  Also, his numbers against left-handed pitching this year are great (.304) and very good for his career (.299). 

    And let's face it, the Phillies don't need someone to carry their offense, they really only need a little protection for Howard and a right-handed hitter to break up a bit of the left-handed heavy lineup.

    The bad news is I've read that he does't want to be traded.  Further compounding the issue with bringing him to Philadelphia is that the Phillies actually tried to sign him in the offseason, and he apparently took an equal deal to go to Kansas City (???).

B.J. Upton

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    And this is where I believe the needle will land.  B.J. Upton is an excellent defender with amazing speed.  That speed also helps on the basepaths (20 stolen bases this year). 

    He has 15 home runs so far this season, and the threat of the home run is exactly what the Phillies need in order to protect Ryan Howard (see Jayson Werth, Pat Burrell).  His average is low at .235, and his career average vs. left-handed pitching isn't spectacular at .266, but the power threat is there.

    But here’s the real reason why I see Upton landing at Philly International with his bags. The Rays need a first basemen.  They are completely void of any first base prospects, and they currently have an aging Casey Kotchman playing the position. 

    And hey, whattayaknow, the Phillies have not one but two excellent first base prospects (Rizzoti and Singleton), neither of which they really need (see Ryan Howard). 

    It doesn’t hurt that Upton is under financial control through 2013 either.

    If this is the move, I like it.  I don't love it, but I like it. 

Melky Cabrera

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    Behind Upton, this is the second most likely option.  And again, my preference for these guys has more to do with my desire to give up less and my belief that we need less. 

    Cabrera, like Francouer, has a great arm although not as great as Francouer.  However, he is not as good against left-handed pitching as Francouer, although he is a switch-hitter.  The problem with him being a switch-hitter is that the Phils don’t need any help from the left side of the plate.

    Cabrera is a good, solid player.  He still has a few years of financial control, and he may develop beyond what he currently is, which is an OK to good player.

Hunter Pence (Unlikely)

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    We’ll call this pick “The Longshot.”  

    I love Hunter Pence.  He plays the game the right way, hits for power, hits for average, great defender, strong arm, everything.  A real five-tool kind of guy.  And he’s still got a year of arbitration eligibility to boot. 

    The problem?  I don’t really believe he’ll be traded, and if he was to be traded, the price would be way too high.  You are surely looking at giving up either Vance Worley or Dominic Brown plus some minor league talent. 

    Besides, he’s overkill for the Phillies.  The Phillies need a handgun, not a tank.  However, I would not want to be Ruben Amaro, Jr. if this trade was staring me in the face because quite frankly, I don’t know what I’d do.

    What I said before about one player not making a difference, you can throw that out the window if it's this player.  I just think what you would have to subtract from your major league club to attain him would end up hurting you in the long run.

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