All Quiet on the Trade Front
No news yet. As many have pointed out, yesterday was a day that Ruben has used as a dealing day in the past. Here’s an article from Jim Salisbury that states Brown, Hamels, and Utley are the only players the Phillies aren’t making available as far as he can tell. I agree with the first two, but I think they need to keep an open mind about trading Utley.
If they are offered something good for Utley, they should take it. If not, it does make sense to keep Utley as he still is productive (when he is on the field). In fact, he has the fifth best OPS among second baseman in all of baseball. I also heard someone one say that Utley has a swing that will age well: it’s short and compact, which is a good point. Moreover, he’s an excellent team guy. Notice he’s not shooting off his mouth about how the team needs to clean house or talking about padding his career stats. He’s been a mentor to Dom Brown and is among the most respected players in the game by his peers. So, if Utley’s demands aren’t crazy, then they should sign him. He’ll be 35 in December, so a two year deal with a vesting option for a third sounds reasonable. Keeping him for two more years would also allow Cody Asche (see below) to play third for two years, and then he can move over to second if minor league third baseman Maikel Franco is the real deal. Of course, that’s if everything works out well.
This begs the question: what about Cesar Hernandez, the up and coming second baseman in AAA? Well, the fact that he is being tried out in centerfield may answer that question. Of course, that raises another question: what does that mean for Ben Revere. If the Phillies do end up signing Utley, that would probably set up a competition between Revere and Hernandez for the starting spot in center next year. Revere has proved that he can be a .300 hitter in the majors, but without any power or great knack for getting on base. Hernandez has slightly more pop (and I mean slightly, like Hernandez may hit five home runs instead of none) and seems to have a better ability to get on base. They both have about the same speed.
Moving on, I think Michael Young is a class act, but if he isn’t traded, it would be crazy. The Phillies won’t get much for him, but Cody Asche needs a try out up in the bigs. He’s having a very nice year and just hit two more home runs last night. He could very well be the third baseman of the future, and he needs to start seeing major league pitching. He could fall flat on his face this year, but that’s okay as the Phillies are going nowhere. This way he’ll be somewhat ahead of the curve next year.
Jimmy is Jimmy and seems like he will be staying put. What does this all mean for Freddy Galvis? So far he’s seems to have been all glove, no bat and is destined to just be a utility guy in the majors. Even with the year Jimmy is having, it sill is better than what Galvis would give you, at least offensively. And if Utley is back, that means Galvis would not be starting at second.
Carlos Ruiz could be traded, but again, you would get very little in return. While his deal is up at the end of the year, he has zero leverage for a new deal, so he would be cheap to resign. Kratz would be a better offensive catcher at this point it seems, but Ruiz may have the edge with handling the staff. It should be noted, however that Kratz threw out 45% of base stealers last year, which is very good. This year it was down to 22%. Ruiz has never been better than 34%.