It’s Already Begun
The trade deadline is more than a month away, but already the media is speculating on which teams will be selling off which players. It’s actually been going on for a while now, but here is a very interesting article from Yahoo!’s Jeff Passan. It’s the ten (actually 9 because he mentions Lee twice) players to watch as the deadline approaches.
The first two on the list? Cliff Lee and Chase Utley. I disagree with Passan when he says that Utley would “guarantee a star prospect like Lee would”. For a guy who has been more injured than not the past three years and is in the last year of his deal, I really can’t see the Phillies getting a “star prospect” in return. Another interesting fact is that Utley will become a “10 and 5” player in August meaning at that point he will have an automatic no-trade clause for all teams. Of course, that is after the deadline, but he already has a no-trade clause for 21 teams. Passan also quotes a source within the Phillies that the “TV deal has become a high priority within the organization and could be nearing completion” leading Passan to speculate the Phillies would rather keep the highly popular Utley. You can read the full article here.
John Heyman of CBS sports also spoke to Amaro recently who continues to say it is highly unlikely he would trade anyone, especially Lee and Papelbon. You can read that interview here. As you know, I think it would be a good idea for the Phils to get rid of Papelbon.