Beltran, Melky, or Pence?- Trading Season Has Begun

This face says it all when asking about who the Phils will get by July 31st.

    July 31st, the non-waiver trading deadline, is approaching fast and the Phillies are looking to land a stud outfielder, a significant relief pitcher, or maybe both. The question is, who will they get, and what will they give up? As history has shown, they will come up big, but not at the expense of making us all cringe.

   Last season, the Phillies traded for Astro’s ace Roy Oswalt. He was 6-12, with a 3.42 ERA, but he had been one of the leagues elite right-handed pitchers for a decade-plus. He proved that when he put on Phillies pinstripes, going 7-1 with a 1.74 ERA the rest of the way. His excellence, matched up with the excellence of an ace in Roy Halladay and a revamped Cole Hamels, lead to a third-consecutive NLCS trip. We know how that ended.
   However, at the time of the trade, fans were left with a bad taste in their mouths. It had been reported that J.A. Happ, a young, talented lefty, was sent to Houston in exchange for Oswalt. At the time of that move, Happ was one year removed from a 12-4, sub-3 ERA season. He was young; he was good; he was traded.
   This season, the Phillies find themselves in a similar situation; looking to trade their youth for the final piece of a World Championship puzzle. Right-hander Vance Worley may be the next young stud to be traded, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. Domonic Brown, a 23-year old outfielder, has had his name mentioned in trade talks for Mets star Carlos Beltran. In nearly every trade rumor involving the Phillies landing a power right-handed bat or stud reliever, Phillies prospect Johnathan Singleton’s name has come up. But, will the Phillies actually give up another highly regarded youngster? They are gonna have to, if indeed they get what they want.
   Number-one on their list is to deliver further crushing disappointment to the Mets by snatching star-outfeilder Carlos Beltran from them. Beltran is by far the best “impact player” available. This year, the switch-hitter is batting .293 with 15 homers and 61 RBIs. He also leads the league with 30 doubles. What makes him an attractive option is not only the fact that he is a great in the playoffs, sporting a career .366 average with 11 homers, but the Mets are offering to pay the bill on his $18.5 millon contract. However, the Phillies should be cautious. He is still coming off an injury, which limited his playing time in 2010. He is also a free-agent after this season, and may not re-sign. Even more alarming, Beltran is batting .232 against lefties; a problem the Phillies need help with (they are batting .239 against LHP this season). Considering this, do you take a chance getting rid of the future for 2 months of Beltran?
   A better option might be Astro’s outfielder Hunter Pence. Pence, 28, provides the Phillies with a right-handed power bat that they control through 2012. This season, he is batting .316 with 11 homers and 61 RBI’s. He is batting .275 against lefties, which will greatly help the Phillies. However, such production won’t come without a cost. Astro’s general manager Ed Wade wants a good package of prospects, and rightfully so; he is their franchise player. The Phillies reportedly would be okay parting ways with right-hander Vance Worley. Are you cringing yet?
   Like Happ, Worley is a young Phillies pitcher who has a lot of promise. He is 23-years old, and is 6-1 with a 2.02 ERA this season. However, he is young and the league has not yet figured him out. Maybe its best to trade him before they do. They figured Happ out, and he is 4-11 with a 5.88 ERA. On the other hand, Worley might be THIS good. Even more importantly, going into next season, the Phillies only have 3 starters for sure. Oswalt may retire, and Blanton is still injured. Worley would add a lot of insurance next season. So, is Pence worth it?
   On the cheap, yet productive end, there is always Royals’ outfielder Melky Cabrera. The 26-year old former Yankee and Brave is batting .294 with 14 homers and 54 RBI’s. He also has 14 stolen bases. To acquire Cabrera, the Phillies would likely have to part way with a couple of players, but nothing along the lines of acquiring Beltran or Pence; trades that might require trading Brown, Worley, and/or Singleton. Plus, he may be easier for the Phillies to sign. On the other hand, he is having his best season; historically, Melky isn’t this good at all.
   Of course, they could acquire other players than those listed above. They could always decide they are content with their offense, and trade for Padres’ closer Heath Bell, or set-up man Mike Adams. They could even steal away outfielder Ryan Ludwick in one of those trades. Matt Kemp anyone? Likely, no; impossible, nothing is.
   So, who will be in the newest Phillie?

2 Responses to Beltran, Melky, or Pence?- Trading Season Has Begun

  1. Greg Olrich (Daliy News) says:

    Very Good Article. Keep up the good work!

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