The dog days of summer are here and the Philadelphia Phillies are finding themselves on the middle rack in the oven getting hit with every flame thrown their way. With the Major League Baseball trade deadline quickly approaching, reports of the Phillies looking to acquire some Miami-based talent continues to dominate headlines.
Ken Rosenthal reported last week that the Phillies “kicked around” the concept of trading with the Miami Marlins – but not for who you may think. While the Marlins certainly are looking to unload some big money to make the potential sale of the team more attractive for buyers, Giancarlo Stanton reportedly wasn’t on their radar. Nick Cafaro of the Boston Globe thought the Phillies, who have tons of money to spend [thanks CSN!], could take on Stanton’s contract and immerse him with the young talent pool they already have. We even asked you, our readers, if you’d want the Phillies to do whatever possible to land Stanton.
However, Rosenthal’s report suggested the Phillies were hot after Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich. the Phillies momentum cannot be silenced. For the past few days we have kicked around a sample of the prospects it would take to acquire such talent, when another shoe was dropped today.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 17, 2017
The 29-year-old Gordon is a speedy second baseman who could offer some nice pop at the top of the order. He is owed $37.9 million over the three guaranteed years remaining on his current contract and the Marlins, who are looking to sell, would love to get rid of this financial burden in the midst of a sale.
Gordon was a Silver Slugger and Gold Glove winner in 2015, and fresh off his 80-game PED suspension, is hitting .294 with 106 hits just after the halfway point of the season. Obviously his talent is unquestioned and his ability has never been in doubt, but seeing him as integral part of this Marlins team moving forward doesn’t make sense.
The Phillies already have a young second baseman in Cesar Hernandez, who just came off the disabled list and another one in Scott Kingery, who is knocking the cover off the ball in every level of baseball he plays. Why would the Phillies have any interest in Gordon? In the same breath, why would they be enticed to make a deal for Yelich?
If we were logically breaking a down the reason why the Phillies were in on Stanton, there would be an agreement on this direction. As it stands, Stanton does not exist on the Phillies roster, nor does his similarities within the entire farm system. Yelich and Gordon, on the other hand, may already be here. This all brings me back to question of … why?
CSN Philly’s Corey Seidman had this explanation on the situation:
It seems to have come from the Marlins since the news about Gordon is accompanied by 10 teams’ interest in reliever David Phelps. Seems like a team trying to drum up interest in its own guys.
The Phillies are interested in Christian Yelich and have reportedly kicked around the idea of assuming Giancarlo Stanton’s contract as part of a trade with the Marlins. If Gordon’s name came up in one of those conversations, then technically he’d be a player the Phillies have shown interest in.
Assuming the above explanation doesn’t offer any sort of credence, I look at this potential interest and/or deal as a sign that the Phillies’ front office doesn’t feel as confident in the potential their prospects as they once were. There once was a time we thought the farm system was going to be the key to the Phils’ next run. However, with guys like JP Crawford, Roman Quinn, and Jorge Alfaro struggling to get out of the box, this could be a slight opening to retool. The rebuild started a few years back and was thought to include the aforementioned guys along with pitchers like Jake Thompson, Mark Appel, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez. Unfortunately, the Phillies’ stockpile of top of the rotation arms have dwindled into back of the rotation guys who could most likely make the 6th inning their only appearance for weeks.
I’m not trying to paint a dark picture here, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned. When the Phils traded away Cole Hamels and Ken Giles, the return was supposed to be the key to future success. We all knew if those players didn’t work out, the trades could be looked at as a major step back instead of the giant leap needed to move forward. Taking into account all this trade speculation, could Matt Klentak already be admitting the organization’s past failure while trying to jump-start the system with new, proven talent before it gets too late?
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