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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Phils' Trades Got You Down? There's Reason for Hope!

The smoke has cleared a day later and the Phillies look at themselves and see a ball club that really isn’t a whole lot different than before the trade deadline.

The experts will tell you that the team has traded two “front line players” and now the lineup is going to be significantly different; but I’m not so sure.

The trades were very good trades for multiple reasons.

Many times, teams deal players just to relieve themselves of salary.  The Phillies accomplished this by saving a probable $15 million on Hunter Pence next year.  They also have dealt Shane Victorino, who will probably get a 3 year deal worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 million from somebody.

But here’s the best part…they got some very good players, too!  They have filled a couple of needs at the same time.  In addition to all of those positives, they have opened the door for Dominic Brown to prove whether he is the wonder child that he was touted as being as early as three years ago.

Josh Lindblom was the main ingredient the Dodgers sent back to Philly for Victorino.  The guy is exactly the type of middle reliever the Phillies have been aching for all year.  He’s young, cheap, contract tied up for about 3 years, and he actually gets batters out!  What a concept!

While (on the surface) Nate Schierholtz appears to be the main part of the Pence deal, the real key piece is the young catcher Tommy Joseph.  He’s a AA prospect who was a 2nd round pick in 2009, who shows solid power, and could wind up being the Phils' catcher of the future.

The two other pitchers the Phils acquired in these two deals are no losers either.  Both guys are big strong right handers who are pretty highly touted.  Ethan Martin acquired in the LA deal was a first round pick in the 2008 draft while Seth Rosin (from the Giants) was a 4th round pick in 2010.

While Martin has been used as a starter lately, you may be seeing these two guys become key components from the bullpen of 2014 in these two deals.  Rosin has the make up of a closer.

Lastly, sometimes you just need a change of pace….a change of faces…to get things moving again.

While Shane and Hunter both made up a great deal of the team’s personality and were both fan favorites, they just seemed to be stuck in a rut and were having somewhat average years for what they are capable of doing.

Maybe the change of scenery will help them and also enable the Phils to inject new players to see what they can do. 

Maybe Dom Brown is a future star?  Maybe Juan Pierre does have another year in him?  Maybe Kevin Frandson needs a shot at third base?

There will be many more changes, but the Phillies will still be considered a top contender next year, especially if they can find a few things out about certain players in August and September.

And who knows?  The inner Phillies fan inside me wants to hold on to the “if they could just go on a nice winning streak, we can get back into this thing” philosophy!