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Darin Ruf trade on Philadelphia Phillies' radar

Ruf has hit 17 home runs in 284 official major league at bats.
Ruf has hit 17 home runs in 284 official major league at bats.
Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images

The most promising right-handed power bat to be produced by the Philadelphia Phillies' farm system in years appears to have no place to play. So, does that mean Darin Ruf will be traded?

Ruben Amaro, Jr. built a two-way scenario into this season. If Ryne Sandberg's spring training team is playing well by the All-Star break, a playoff run will be supported. If the Phillies have fallen out of the race by mid-season a number of high-value pieces can be traded.

The obvious Cliff Lee rumor will always remain in the air. But, the likelihood that one longtime Philadelphia baseball star could be dealt, regardless of current contract status and no-trade clauses, is real. However, that person isn't likely to be Ryan Howard, which leaves Darin Ruf seemingly out of the equation.

First base is Ruf's natural position. Unless Amaro plans to keep him as an indefinite 'Big Piece' insurance policy, the only other spot this 27-year-old slugger could realistically play in would be left field. The team appears to be committed to Domonic Brown at that location and thus this dilemma continues.

Ruf is proving to be a classic masher. Power, with plenty of whiffs in his bat as well. So, it's natural to think that he could develop into, or already is, a designated hitter candidate.

The man, who was aptly dubbed 'Babe Ruf' by his Double-A Reading Phillies' teammates during a record-breaking 38 home run season in 2012, has trade value. The only question is: Would the choice to deal him be the best bet for his initial baseball employer?

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