Phillies Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz in Philadelphia as Deadline Approaches

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIJuly 31, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 21: Cliff Lee #33 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches against the New York Mets at Citi Field on July 21, 2013 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly being active in shopping the majority of their roster as Wednesday's Major League Baseball trade deadline closes in.

Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the only players not on the trade block are second baseman Chase Utley, young rising star Domonic Brown and 2008 World Series MVP pitcher Cole Hamels.

Unfortunately, the club has endured an eight-game losing streak to wrap up its recent road trip, so the Phillies are definitely in the selling mood with the playoffs being unlikely at this juncture of the 2013 season.

Let's take a closer look at the specific buzz surrounding some of Philadelphia's marquee players, including analysis as to where they could land.

Why Trio of Phillies are Untouchable

The prior report by Salisbury outlined reasons for why each of the three cornerstones he mentioned wouldn't be on the market.

In the case of Utley, sources tell Sailsbury that the 34-year-old veteran and the team are working towards a contract extension and have a mutual desire to continue their relationship. Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reported GM Ruben Amaro Jr. views Utley as a "Phillie for life," too.

After a dubious start to 2013, Brown exploded in the month of May, batting .303 with 12 homers and 25 RBI to win NL Player of the Month honors and drive him to his first All-Star appearance. His power and young age is something the organization reportedly covets and needs more of, per Salisbury.

As for Hamels, it's been a combination of him not having his best stuff (4.09 ERA) and poor run support that has led to a miserable 4-13 record.

According to Salisbury, the Phillies feel Hamels' season is a fluke rather than a trend, and he's being counted on to lead the team's staff into the next era.

Chatter on Stars Who Could be Dealt

Pitching ace Cliff Lee is going to command a lot in return for his services, but it remains to be seen if the Phillies will be able to acquire enough assets to justify letting a talent like him go.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports cites a rival executive who said Lee would only be traded "for a lot!!!" Plus, Rosenthal points out how the financial resources aren't pressing Philadelphia to deal Lee, and Salisbury notes how the team prefers to keep him as a fixture atop the rotation along with Hamels.

MLB.com's Todd Zolecki reports that the Phillies are open to moving ex-Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon, who was recently outspoken about the team's need for improvement.

Veteran infielder Michael Young has been the subject of trade rumors, but a reunion with the Texas Rangers doesn't seem likely. Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram indicates that the team is not keen on making any big moves before the deadline.

Those are the most specific points of chatter on many of the top Phillies, but as Salisbury notes, very few can be ruled out even at this juncture.

Jimmy Rollins Won't Wave No-Trade Clause, Even if Asked

The longtime Phillies shortstop has been with the team since 2000, but has a no-trade clause in his contract that could allow him to go to a contender. At age 34 and without much long-term value, though, there isn't much reason to ship him off at this point even if he did agree to leave.

Rollins isn't going anywhere, according to the Philadelphia Inqurier's Matt Gelb:

In Zolecki's report, he also documented how Rollins said he still had several statistical categories he wanted to rank first in for the Phillies' franchise before his career was over. Thus, it seems he'd be even less inclined to play for his first new MLB team.

With one year still remaining on Rollins' contract, it would make more sense to trade him at or before the 2014 deadline, if ever.

Given the many years Rollins and the Phillies have enjoyed together, though, it appears he'll start and end his illustrious career in Philadelphia—especially since he has the power to make that happen with his current deal. 


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