Will the Phillies Buy or Sell?
The non-waiver trade deadline is only about six week away and already rumors are swirling.
Will the Phillies be buyers or sellers?
(Listen to ESPN.com Sr. Baseball writer Jayson Stark on the Sports Bash with Mike Gill)
Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. told ESPN's Jayson Stark that he has no desire to trade pitchers Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels or Jonathan Papelbon. Realistically, who would want to deal any of the names?
However as currently constructed, the Phillies just aren't a very good team, they are mediocre at best. The Phillies need to figure out a way to get younger and cheaper if they want to compete in the National League east sooner before later.
The Phillies haven't won a series against a team other then Miami since May 19th, not a very promising stat that would make you feel like they are ready to make a run at the playoffs.
Because of that, this team needs to reboot and their top level pitchers will be names we hear a lot over the next six weeks.
While Hamels, who just signed a long-term deal last season would be a long-shot to be traded, Papelbon and Lee could be on the move.
There is already interest in Papelbon, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Phillies believe there are three teams -- Red Sox, Tigers and Cardinals -- with interest in their closer.
Papelbon, who signed a four-year, $50 million free agent contract with Philadelphia in November 2011, has registered a 1.46 ERA, 0.69 WHIP and 23/3 K/BB ratio across 24 2/3 innings of relief this season.
Moving him could get the Phillies some much needed younger players, but Amaro has been on record saying he doesn't think the Phillies have a player on the current roster who can close and therefore didn't envision dealing Papelbon this season.
That could change if the Phillies slip further out of the playoff race.
Amaro also suggested that he didn't want to "blow it up" citing he didn't want to become a team that wins 65-75 games.
The next six weeks could determine two fates; the Phillies and Ruben Amaro Jr.'s - stay tuned.