Today we will take a look at possible trade partners in the National League. What teams could the Phillies possibly make a trade with and what could that trade be? Would the Phillies possibly trade within their own division or would the prefer to deal with a team they won’t necessarily see until the playoffs? As I am a teacher in my day job, I will rank the trade partners with a letter grade on how well they are compatible with the Phillies.
First of all it is highly doubtful the Phillies deal within their own division, especially if they are still in the division and/or wild card races.
Washington Nationals – Neither team will deal with each other most likely. The Nationals don’t need pitching and are in need of a right-handed utility infielder. Something the Phillies need. The only piece the Phillies could expect to get in return is now a AAA stud, John Lannan. TRADE GRADE: F
New York Mets – Right now the Mets are pretty happy with how the season turned out. They are in the thick of things in the division race and have gotten contributions from all over the place. The problem with dealing with the Mets is that they need the same thing the Phillies need: Bullpen Help. TRADE GRADE: F
Atlanta Braves – Brandon Beachy went down so the Braves do need a pitcher, but it is doubtful or near impossible the Phillies will offer up Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels to a division rival so consider them out. Their farm system is full of young pitchers which is intriguing but most of them are not faring well in the minors. TRADE GRADE: D-
Miami Marlins – Emilio Bonafacio is nearing a return in July, but the Marlins could still bolster up their outfield with a bat or two even if it is temporary. Victorino would be an interesting fit here, but once again don’t expect either team to deal inter-division. TRADE GRADE: D-
The NL Central is wide open. It is a relatively weak division, so any team can jump in and make the playoffs. Look for any team here to get an edge and attempt a trade.
Cincinatti Reds - Cincinatti could be a great team to deal Shane Victorino. Their outfielders, Ryan Ludwick, Drew Stubbs and Jay Bruce are batting .228, .235 and .252 respectively. An outfielder is someone the Reds could use. In return, they have 3 right handed relief pitchers that the Phillies could choose to deal for in Jose Arrendondo, Alfredo Simon and Logen Ondrusek. Arrendondo has a 1.99 ERA and 34 K’s in 31.2 IP. Alfredo Simon has a 1.91 ERA and 30K’s in 28.1 IP and Ondrusek has a 3.00 ERA in 27 IP. The Reds will not deal flamethrower Eroldis Champman, but with this much depth in the bullpen, a swap for a bat is inevitable. A trade for one of these three would probably also have to include a prospect pitcher in Phillipe Aumont, or Justin DeFratus since Victorino will be a free agent. If the Phillies deal Victorino, the Reds could be his new home, especially if they offer up one of these relievers in return. TRADE GRADE: A
Pittsburgh Pirates – According to the Pittsburgh tribune The Pirates are shopping SP Kevin Correia because Jeff Karstens is soon to come off the DL. They are in search of a bat, but Andrew McCutchen is their everyday CF. A team looking for a starter like Milwaukee or Cleveland would probably be a better partner, but we can’t rule anything out. The Phillies could use an extra starter with Roy Halladay on the DL and they could chose to make a 3 way deal with one of the aforementioned teams to deal Hamels or Halladay. TRADE GRADE: C+
St. Louis Cardinals - The Cardinals pitching is keeping them relevant and that is without Chris Carpenter. Their bats have been surprisingly decent and it doesn’t look like they have room for too much improvement. If anywhere it would most likely be starting pitching at the Major League Level, but it’s doubtful they would overpay for a 4th starter, but if they offer a major league bat and a future bullpen piece in return it could work out. TRADE GRADE: C-
Milwaukee Brewers – Most likely the Brewers are looking for pitching help. Randy Wolf can be replaced in the rotation. He is 2-5 with a 5.32 ERA and Shaun Marcum is out right now. With them needing bullpen help and steadily losing ground in a meager division, the Brewers could wind up selling in another month. That would mean Zach Greinke could be up for grabs. Doubtful the Phillies go for another starter and without much bullpen on the Brewers a trade here wouldn’t work. TRADE GRADE: F
Houston Astros- The Astros have what the Phillies need in relievers. Brett Myers and Brandon Lyon are both interesting trade chips in the Astros system. Both are having decent years out of the pen, but would require the Phillies to most likely give up Trevor May, Justin DeFratus, or Phillippe Aumont, which would amount to the rest of the farm system. While help would come up at the majors, the price could be huge down at the minor league level. That hasn’t seemed to stop Ruben Amaro before. TRADE GRADE: A-
Chicago Cubs – The Cubs are looking for a lot in return for Matt Garza and SS Starlin Castro. As these are two positions the Phillies don’t need, it is doubtful that a trade would work out at all. The Cubs will most definetly be sellers as Theo Epstein will be out for as much young talent as he can get. Don’t expect the Phillies to go in with the loveable losers. TRADE GRADE: F
The Dodgers have emerged as an elite team a year after a divorce rocked the club and it was sold to the Magic Johnson Group. The Diamondbacks are looking to claw their way back into the race, so the West proves to be Wild come August and September.
Los Angeles Dodgers – The Dodgers will be in the hunt for Cole Hamels next year, but their pitching and outfield is solid this year. Unless Ted Lilly gets hurt or starts blowing it, the Dodgers really don’t need a starter, but come on. It’s Cole Hamels. They could get him now and sign him long term and offer the Phillies A TON in return. If the Phillies are unwilling to deal Hamels (will they really be sellers?) the Dodgers can always take a shot at him in November. They most likely will be looking for a big bat at the deadline, something the Phillies can’t offer. But making a splash for a guy like Hamels is a real possibility, especially if they offer up Shawn Tolleson in return. Tolleson was tearing up the minor leagues and has now joined the Dodgers as a future setup man/closer. They also have Alex Castellanos, who is an outfield prospect that is hitting .371 in the minors this season and will probably be ready for a jump to the big leagues next year. TRADE GRADE: B+
San Francisco Giants - The Giants pitching is solid (outside of Tim Lincecum who is having an uncharacteristic bad year) and outfielders Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrerra are hitting well above their career averages. Meanwhile, outfielders Gregor Blanco and Nate Scheirholtz are underperforming so Victorino could be an option for the Giants, even if it is just for the rest of 2012. If they are willing to part with Sergio Romo, Clay Hensley or Jeremy Affeldt out of their bullpen the Phillies could be players. However, with Brian Wilson out for the year, it’s tough to see the Giants parting with anyone out of the pen, but for the right return they could deal. The Giants most likely upgrade is second base, even though Ryan Theriot is hitting a little better this month. TRADE GRADE: D+
Arizona Diamondbacks – The Diamondbacks are in a state of flux here. They have decent pitching (enough to deal a starter) and a decent batting order, but something seems to be missing. Steven Drew returning from injury will bolster their infield. Their bullpen isn’t bad, but it isn’t great so I doubt they would chose to move a guy. They have a few guys in the minors that could prove to help, so it’s looking like they will stay put at the deadline. TRADE GRADE: F
Colorado Rockies – This team is confusing. They are going with a 4-man rotation right now, with Jeremy Guthrie now pitching out of the pen. Whether or not he stays there who knows. Marco Scutaro is someone that could definetly help the Phillies out when Utley comes back providing some relief at 2nd and giving Polanco a few days off, but the Rockies asking price could be a little too high and include 3B prospect Cody Ashe and a pitcher or two. TRADE GRADE: C
San Diego Padres – Finally, we take a look at the Padres. The Padres are just about as confusing as the Rockies, but for different reasons. They are going through a sale right now (oddly enough to the O’Malley family, which moved the Dodgers to LA) so anything going on trade wise is contigent on when the new owners take over. They have outfielder Carlos Quentin who the Phillies could be high on if its for the right price. New ownership could hold a lot of this up though, so who knows what they will do. TRADE GRADE: INCOMPLETE
Tomorrow we will break down the American League in terms of who the Phillies could deal with. There are a few more compatible partners in the AL, so stay tuned for that piece.