Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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Trade deadline '10: Choose your own adventure

ST. LOUIS -- Jimmy Rollins paused when asked the question. Then he smiled. Do the Phillies need anything in a trade before the deadline expires in 11 days? "We have enough," Rollins finally answered. "If you win, you always have enough. If you're not winning, it doesn't necessarily mean a trade is going to bring anything fruitful." I have the feeling some will disagree with Rollins' statement. Yet the fact remains this is an entirely complex situation for Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. His team is six games out of first place. They are three games back of the Wild Card, trailing five other clubs. Plenty of time remains in the season. But few times have the Phillies shown they are a playoff-caliber team. A handful of weaknesses exist on the current roster. There is the looming question of what to do with the right fielder. What's the right move? The answer to that question changes daily, and that's the problem for Amaro. Every day the Phillies lose is a day closer to the deadline. It's another argument to make a trade to improve the club. But it also suggests restocking for next season is a viable option, too. Or if Amaro and the Phillies' brass decide the situation is too fluid, does standing pat become another choice? If the Phillies cannot prove to Amaro they will contend or completely fall out of it, that could be the best option. Like Charlie Manuel said after Monday's game, the Phillies must win some of the next seven games. They face St. Louis and Colorado, two teams ahead of them in a possible Wild Card race (and two teams who could be division winners when it's all said and done).

Trade deadline '10: Choose your own adventure

What moves, if any, should Ruben Amaro Jr. make at the trade deadline? (Ron Tarver / Staff file photo)
What moves, if any, should Ruben Amaro Jr. make at the trade deadline? (Ron Tarver / Staff file photo)

ST. LOUIS -- Jimmy Rollins paused when asked the question. Then he smiled.

Do the Phillies need anything in a trade before the deadline expires in 11 days?

"We have enough," Rollins finally answered. "If you win, you always have enough. If you're not winning, it doesn't necessarily mean a trade is going to bring anything fruitful."

I have the feeling some will disagree with Rollins' statement.

Yet the fact remains this is an entirely complex situation for Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. His team is six games out of first place. They are three games back of the Wild Card, trailing five other clubs. Plenty of time remains in the season.

But few times have the Phillies shown they are a playoff-caliber team. A handful of weaknesses exist on the current roster. There is the looming question of what to do with the right fielder.

What's the right move?

The answer to that question changes daily, and that's the problem for Amaro. Every day the Phillies lose is a day closer to the deadline. It's another argument to make a trade to improve the club. But it also suggests restocking for next season is a viable option, too.

Or if Amaro and the Phillies' brass decide the situation is too fluid, does standing pat become another choice?

If the Phillies cannot prove to Amaro they will contend or completely fall out of it, that could be the best option. Like Charlie Manuel said after Monday's game, the Phillies must win some of the next seven games. They face St. Louis and Colorado, two teams ahead of them in a possible Wild Card race (and two teams who could be division winners when it's all said and done).

An aside: In all actuality, the Wild Card really makes the decision tougher for Amaro and Co. Barring a massive collapse, the Phillies will be in the Wild Card race for the majority of the season. But so are a lot of other teams.

In four of those games, the Phillies will face starters by the name of Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia and Ubaldo Jimenez. The task at hand is not easy. It's also why Amaro may wait to make a trade (if he even makes one).

The longer he sees what the Phillies have, the better decision he may be able to make. Plus, the price of players goes down the closer the trade deadline gets.

So... you're in control for the next 11 days: What do you do?

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Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
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