More and more, it sounds as if the surging Phillies will stand pat.
Phillies general manager Pat Gillick recently and repeatedly has said he expects his club to do little by the trading deadline Tuesday. As rumors surfaced yesterday, that forecast didn't look as if it would change.
Phillies sources shot down a report that Pat Burrell would go to Minnesota and that the Phils were interested in Twins Triple A pitching prospect Kevin Slowey.
Burrell has a full no-trade clause, and he would not waive it to play in Minnesota through 2008, though the Phillies might be willing to eat a portion of the remaining $13 million for this season and the $14 million next season.
Meanwhile, the Phillies shrugged at the trade that sent Padres setup man Scott Linebrink to Milwaukee for three minor league pitchers. The Phils think Linebrink's stock has fallen as his performances have faltered.
Linebrink, 30, is 1-2 with five blown saves dating back to June 9.
The Phillies, looking for significant pitching help that is under contract through 2008 or 2009, have scouted the Astros hard, looking at back-end bullpen pitchers Brad Lidge and Chad Qualls. The Phillies could offer outfielder Michael Bourn, a Houston native.
This weekend's series against the Pirates will afford the Phils a firsthand look at bullpen cogs Shawn Chacon, Damaso Marte and Salomon Torres, the latter of whom has demanded a trade.
The Phils seem less interested daily in struggling Giants righthander Matt Morris, whom manager Charlie Manuel considers less of a sure thing than rookies Kyle Kendrick, 22, and J.D. Durbin, 25.
The rookies are a combined 6-2 in 11 starts, and the Phillies are 8-3 in their starts. Morris, 32, is 0-3 with a 7.98 earned run average in his last seven starts – about the same time frame since Kendrick and Durbin began pitching in the majors.
"I want a good pitcher, to go into the top of the rotation," Manuel said. Otherwise, Manuel said, "I'd rather go with the kids. I'd just as soon work with what we've got."