General manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. will make significant trades in July and August. As opposed to the Philadelphia Phillies recent glory days, the moves he makes will enable other teams playoff efforts.
Jonathan Papelbon has calmed career fears through his 2014 efforts and is a marketable commodity. A sub-.500 team doesn't need a high-paid closer. Despite another $13 million guarantee for next season and a vesting option for 2016 at the same dollar amount, 'Pap' is likely to be dealt.
A.J. Burnett has a hernia, but has also shown that he can still pitch effectively. Signed to a free agent deal in February, the right-hander's money is only guaranteed through this season, with a mutual option for 2015. Quality starting pitching is always needed down the stretch and various offers should be on the table for his mound services.
Marlon Byrd is a steady veteran outfield defender who also has a productive right-handed bat. What's not to like? Many contenders can use Byrd's services. One is sure to obtain him by July 31.
There are other names that are viable trade candidates, including: Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz (who's currently on the DL), Cliff Lee (who's currently on the DL) and Cole Hamels who would yield worthwhile returns. But, the terms of their contracts, franchise ties or both make them harder to move. That's why Amaro seems more likely to deal Papelbon, Burnett or Byrd instead.
Philadelphia sustained a solid baseball run from 2007-2011. The regular season franchise record 102-win team officially ended that era when it unexpectedly lost the National League Division Series to the St. Louis Cardinals on October 7, 2011.
Roy Halladay took the loss in that 1-0 shutout. The Phillies had three hits in the game, one by Utley and two others by Shane Victorino. Citizens Bank Park hosted yet another standing room only crowd on a day when most fans believed victory was a foregone conclusion. Now, less than three years later, all red pinstriped feelings have dramatically changed.