Trade rumors have been swirling for weeks now, and it is finally time to see which GM's across the league will make those rumors come to fruition.
GM Ruben Amaro of the Philadelphia Phillies has been adamant that his team will "not make any major moves" at the trade deadline this season, but that hasn't stopped some of the top writers in baseball from linking the Phillies to some of the top available players.
Could Ruben Amaro really acquire the top player at the trade deadline for the third year in a row? The young GM has already acquired superstars Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt in consecutive seasons, so who is next?
The Philadelphia Phillies have arguably their best roster in the entire 121-year history of a franchise, and they are certainly taking the "all-in" approach that this ballclub warrants.
The Phillies are about $3 million shy of the luxury tax threshold of $178 million, but team president David Montgomery is willing to pass that threshold for the right opportunity, he told Matt Gelb and Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
This is music to a Phillies fan's ears as it wasn't long ago when Turk Wendell was considered the marquee trade deadline acquisition.
Many players have been rumored to be heading to Philadelphia at the deadline, and here we take a closer look at those possibilities.
Let's rank the likelihood of who the Philadelphia Phillies will acquire at the trade deadline.
Let's see how many hilarious things we can say about the above picture in 10 seconds:
1. Is it July 31st yet?
2. It would stink to be David Wright and be stuck here for five more years.
3. Where have the owners been getting their money to pay my salary this season?
The Red Sox seem to be a long shot at this point because they seem unwilling to give up any of their top prospects reports Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com.
The Phillies would most likely have to include power-hitting left fielder (and first baseman) Jonathan Singleton in any deal, along with one of their four pitching prospects in A-ball.
Singleton was thought to be in the "untouchable" category before the season began, but that is no longer the case according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff.
The Phillies have the best record in baseball and are the odds-on favorite to return to the World Series for the third time in four years.
Acquiring Carlos Beltran would fill the Phillies' one glaring hole, which is a power hitter from the right side of the plate.
The Philadelphia Phillies acquiring Jason Giambi? Really?
The Colorado Rockies have seemingly dropped out of contention in the NL West (double-digits), and many executives around the league expect the Rockies to be seller's at the deadline.
ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney wrote that a player like Jason Giambi would be on the market and could be a right fit for the Phillies. Giambi could provide the Matt Stairs type of bat off the bench that the Phillies are looking for. Heck, he even looks like Matt Stairs.
It still would be pretty awkward seeing Jason Giambi stroll up to the plate in Phillies pinstripe's when 45,000 fans at Citizens Bank Park welcomed him with a, "You took steroids" chant a few months ago.
Heath Bell to the Philadelphia Phillies makes a lot of sense to me, but Ken Rosenthal explains in this article that the Phillies may be thinking otherwise.
Heath Bell has been rumored to be coming to Philadelphia for more than a month now, but it seems like he does not fit into the plans of what the Phillies are looking for.
Rosenthal's article states that because the Phillies gave up so many prospects in the Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Roy Halladay deals, they would prefer to trade for a player that they can control through at least 2012.
Still, rumors continue to swirl daily with the prospect of the Phillies acquiring the veteran right-hander.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted Monday night that the Phillies were aggressive in their pursuit of Bell, and they have the type of prospects that the Padres are looking for.
Even Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reported that the Phillies may be the team that is willing to pay the hefty price that the Padres are asking.
Is this really a good thing from a fan's perspective? The Phillies bullpen has been solid all year with Bastardo, Madson, Stutes and Brad Lidge has finally returned healthy. With the Phillies being so close to the luxury tax already, wouldn't it be more prudent to spend their money on a power bat?
Heath Bell does seem like a Philly guy as he stated, "The fans have never told me I suck, they just say I'm fat."
Honest and pleasantly plump. Those two things can go a long way in Philadelphia.
Leo Nunez could the be type of under-the-radar type signing that could pay huge dividends this postseason. Nunez is the closer for the Florida Marlins, and he is under control through 2012, which the Phillies highly covet at this time.
ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reported earlier this week that the Phillies, have talked to the Marlins about Nunez. Adding a reliever with his electric arm (28 saves this season) would give the Phillies four legitimate options to close out games in Madson, Bastardo, Lidge and Nunez.
OK, maybe not Brad Lidge at this point.
The MLB trade deadline is clearly a game of cat and mouse as the owner of the San Diego Padres informed reliever Mike Adams that he "will not be traded."
That hasn't stopped more articles from being published linking the Phillies and the bullpen arm that may make the most sense.
It seems odd that the Padres wouldn't be able to find the right deals for Adams and Bell, and this no-trade talk is a big smoke screen.
The Padres may just have an extraordinary asking price right now as they have a lot leverage, but expect that to come back down to reality as July 31 looms.
Many Philadelphia Phillies fans scoffed at the notion of potentially acquiring stud outfielder Hunter Pence from the Houston Astros.
"How would Ruben Amaro be able to pull that one off?"
This deal seemed highly unlikely at first, but reports have been coming out daily that GM Ed Wade is listening to offers.
ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reported that the Houston Astros are clearly seller's and a plethora of teams would love to acquire Houston's best player. The problem for the Phillies is that the Astros would (should) want a king's ransom in return.
The Phillies are targeting Pence, but the price for him is really high at this point, and GM ED Wade would probably want a package that begins with Domonic Brown, according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. The Phillies might also have to include another top talent along with him.
The Phillies seem content to hold on to their top pitching prospect Jarred Cosart and Domonic Brown, so a Hunter Pence deal would have to be centered around Vance Worley. The Astros are asking for multiple impact players in any deal involving Pence, according to Jon Heyman, Jayson Stark and Buster Olney.
Worley, Singleton and Colvin for Pence? Deal or no deal?