Buyer Beware

Cliff LeeRuben Amaro Jr. said yesterday afternoon the Phillies were leaning towards buying before the July 31 trade deadline.

Then they lost last night.

Feelings about this team seem to change by the hour (or pitch … just check Twitter). If the Phillies win tonight’s series finale and take 2 of 3 from the White Sox this weekend they will enter the All-Star break at .500. It would be tough to think about selling at that point. On the other hand, does it make sense to trade quality Minor League talent to acquire a reliever of two when the team has been so inconsistent much of the season?

That is what the Phillies are asking themselves: How good are we really? The Phillies have won 6 of 9 to get to improve to 45-47. They are 7 1/2 games behind the Braves and 6 1/2 games behind the Reds for the second NL Wild Card. Yesterday I blogged about some very encouraging offensive numbers. But I also mentioned some scary numbers about the pitching staff, including some wretched numbers about the bullpen. If the Phillies acquire a setup man for the stretch run at a significant price and the Phillies still fall short of the postseason they will have wasted an opportunity to improve for 2014 and beyond. In fact, they will have hurt their chances to compete in the future.

“I would assume things would go down to the wire, unless we reel off 10 out of 11 or we lose 10 out of 11,” Amaro said. “Then we’ll have a clearer picture. Right now, we’re just not sure. I would assume like most years, it would go down to the wire.”

So even if the Phillies finish the homestand 7-3 to enter the break .500, it doesn’t mean they’ll buy. They return from the break with a nine-game road trip against the Mets, Cardinals and Tigers. The Cardinals have the best record in baseball, while the Tigers lead the AL Central. It seems to me a good homestand can only buy the Phillies more time, while that road trip after the break is going to make the decision. In the meantime, the Phillies are going to get everything lined up so they’re prepared to buy or sell whenever the time comes.

But even if the Phillies buy it doesn’t make a ton of sense to sacrifice quality prospects for a short-term run with so many issues facing them in the offseason. It might be best to do what they can with what they’ve got, unless they can find somebody relatively inexpensive (i.e. J.C. Romero in 2007 or Scott Eyre in 2008).

16 Comments

You’re making me sad.

I agree. Baseball seasons are series of streaks – good and bad. You can’t make long-term, team-changing decisions based on the results of any 10-14 day period. I thought all along that was crazy talk. This team is not going anywhere this year, just like last year. Their biggest problem is that they have been treading water for the last 3 seasons while teams around them were getting better. That needs to change, and 1 or 2 guys coming in or leaving will not do it.

Totally agree 100%!

I think that the need is to trade for someone who is not on a walk year. Trading away a minor league prospect for 2013 only is probably not the smart move. Getting someone who will be under control for 2014 on the other hand…

Luis Garcia will be our savior in the pen!! Bring up Cesar Jimenez too!!

I have no faith that Amaro will get value back.

Zo, what is the hold up on giving Cesar Jimenez a shot? I know he isn’t on the 40 man roster, but we need to find out what we have within the organization before trading away the Pharm for something we already have down in Lehigh Valley.

Cesar Jimenez numbers as a reliever at AAA-41 innings, 2.18 ERA, 42-K’s/15-BB’s, 39 Hits. Much better than Aumont, Diekman and J.C. Ramirez who have been given shots. Raul Valdes has also righted the ship at AAA, these guys should be given a shot before Rube trades the Pharm for “Charlie’s Veteran Reliever/Security Blanket”.

Why don’t people that spend thousands of dollars on a team have more respect? They put their money where their mouth is! Talk is cheap!

Having been a season ticket holder since 1976, I would much prefer preparing for the future. Whose to say they won’t make a run even after they make the trades. Young talent has an ‘i’ll prove I deserve to be here’ attitude that the old (i’ve done this before) veterans don’t have. We’ll just have to get a manager that plays the younger talent and not cow-tail to the veterans.

What does your season ticket history have to do with anything? Are you trying to grant yourself some authority? Or that you opinion should somehow weigh more than fans that haven’t spent the kind of money you have? Who cares about your past? Not I, for sure. Whatever authority you think it confers upon you has nothing whatsoever to do with you otherwise spot on analysis.

Nevertheless, we suck.

Did it ever occur to you that ta was merely pointing out that he has been witness to a lot of the Phillies bullshit? Ward, when did you jump on the wagon?

Please get rid of Ryan Howard !!! What a waste of money !!!

Right on. Fire the bum. Send him down to the American League.

Pingback: Ruben Amaro Finally Spits Some Truth | The700Level

FIRE RAJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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