The Philadelphia Phillies are in a tough position right now regarding whether or not they should be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. These are a some trades I think the Phillies should consider making in order to improve their farm system:
5. Carlos Ruiz to the Reds
This season, Carlos Ruiz has struggled to stay on the field after suspensions and injuries. He has shown small glimpses of the Carlos the Phillies knew from last year, but he has ultimately showed last year was a fluke and that he’s not actually that good offensively. His defensive abilities are still shining bright, but he is going to eventually lose those as well. At this point, the Phillies should absolutely trade him while he still has some value. Sending him to the Reds would be a great idea because they are in need of an healthy catcher to help them get to the postseason. Both of the Reds’ catchers are worst statistically then Ruiz this year in batting; as I have compared their batting stats below:
Carlos Ruiz: .257 Batting AVG 0 HRs 7 RBIs 136 ABs
Devin Mesoraco: .240 Batting AVG 4 HRs 21 RBIs 179 ABs
Ryan Hanigan: .193 Batting AVG 2 HRs 14 RBIs 145 ABs
If the Reds want to put themselves to the top, a guy like Ruiz would be a great asset to them. He also outdoes the other two Reds catchers in Fielding Percentage:
In exchange, the Phillies could grab some Reds’ prospects, such as a guy like Jesse Winker, who is a very skilled outfielder in the Reds organization. Another player the Phillies would absolutely love to take off of the Reds hands, would be speed demon Billy Hamilton. In case you aren’t familiar with Hamilton, he has stolen 376 bases in 5 years in the minor leagues and he would be an absolute steal in a trade for Ruiz. Cincinnati has a mediocre bullpen, so the Phillies wouldn’t be able to address that need in this trade.
4. Chase Utley to Athletics
This would be saddening to see a great Phillies player, whom I thought would be a Phillie for life, get traded. Unfortunately, baseball is a business and this would be best for the Phillies to get rid of the former All-Star Second Basemen. Billy Beane has shown great interest in the aging Utley, and Utley could definitely help the A’s win the AL West because Eric Sogard is definitely not the answer to their second base problems in Oakland, as he is batting .261 with 2 homers and 15 RBIs in 216 at bats. Meanwhile, Utley is hitting .279 with 13 long balls and 36 runs batted in after 262 at bats. The Phillies may target prospects such as outfielder Michael Choice, or utility player Grant Green. Oakland’s bullpen is ranked 7th in the league in ERA and this could be the trade that lands the Phils their new bullpen arm. Ryan Cook has proven this season that he is a very consistent pitcher and he would fit nicely with the Phillies. Also, watch a young pitcher named Sonny Gray pitch, because he could another great arm that the A’s have.
3. Michael Young to the Indians
Mark Reynolds may have some power, but he’s hitting .213 and has a fielding percentage of .920. Reynolds is also 2nd in the AL with 115 strikeouts. The Indians have played Lonnie Chisenhall a bit but he isn’t the answer. If the Indians want to chase down and beat the Tigers this season, then they need a consistent third basemen. Michael Young could give them all of that and it would only cost the Indians a few prospects. Luigi Rodriguez, Dorssys Paulino, and Tyler Naquin all have gotten my attention and could be a good group of players in exchange for Michael Young.
2. Cliff Lee to the Orioles
To keep pace with the Rays and Red Sox, the Orioles will need to lower their ERA, which is currently third-worst in the majors. Cliff Lee would greatly bolster that pitching staff and give the Orioles a chance to win the AL East. This move would greatly hurt the Phillies starting rotation, but it would give opportunities to players such as Ethan Martin, Tyler Cloyd, and Carlos Zambrano. In return, I would demand local phenom Christian Walker and see if they could go as far to give us Manny Machado (this is a longshot). Other potential players include Henry Urrutia, Tim Berry, or Nick Delmonico.
1. Get Papelbon and Delmon Young Outta Here!
If at least two of these trades happen, the Phillies would be in a great position to trade away closer Jonathan Papelbon and outfielder Delmon Young. These two do not have to leave together, as the Phillies could get a good bullpen pitcher from the Braves in exchange for Delmon Young. Since the Braves outfield is pretty banged up, this would make sense except for the fact the Phillies and Braves don’t have any interest in helping one another. Texas could also take Young off the table as a precautionary in case Nelson Cruz is suspended for the biogenesis clinic. Another team that may want Young would be the Diamondbacks, because their outfield has not really impressed me that much this season. A couple of possible fits for Papelbon would be in Cleveland, Detroit, or he may return to the Red Sox. He may not close where he goes, but he still would have a major role in wherever he ends up.
Note: All Statistics are as of the morning of July 22nd, 2013. All statistics were fromESPN.com. All Prospects and their positions came from bleacherreport.com.
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