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The Philadelphia Phillies maybe ready to put out the "for trade" sign

Papelbon is one of the players who may be on their way out
Papelbon is one of the players who may be on their way out
Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

The Phillies are currently in fourth place in NL East 4.5 games behind the division leading Washington Nationals but they could be in a much deeper hole if the rest of the teams in the NL East were playing better baseball. There are glimmers of hope like the recent sweep of the Atlanta Braves.

The Phillies have now won 7 of their last 9 game but as the empty seats at Citizen Bank Park attest many fans have already given up hope the team would get hot this season and make the playoffs.

Naturally when team, like the Phillies, take a downturn trade rumors abound. Signs point to Reuben Amaro Jr. being ready to put out a "for trade" of the some of the team's high priced players. For the record Amaro Jr. has hinted or not hinted at possibly trading away players, depending on how his comments thare analyzed.. He was recently quoted on as saying. " I can’t say there are any untouchables. Some guys are less touchable than others."

The trade deadline is July 31st. For more trade news go to MLB Trade

Here are some reasons it may be time for the Phillies to move in a new direction.

  • The Phillies at over $184,000,000 have the third highest payroll in baseball and are currently getting very little return for their investment.
  • The last remaining group of players left over from the glory days, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels, Carlos Ruiz and Kyle Kendrick, who have a combined payroll of $89.7 million which is more than the payroll of 9 other MLB teams and almost the same amount as the entire Seattle Mariners payroll. Currently the Phillies are prevented from making major changes to the roster because of the huge payroll looming over their heads.
  • The Phillies have a minor league system full of players the team needs to find out if they can play at the major league level.

Depending on whether the Phillies are ready to put out a "for trade" sign or not there are a couple major obstacle in their way, no trade clauses and money. Players like Utley, Rollins have no trade clauses in their contracts, however Rollins has hinted he may wave his no trade clause if the Phillies decide to "blow everything up."

Then there is Ryan Howard who stands to make a whopping $25 mill this year. There aren't may teams who would be willing to take on that kind of money. Some of the other players teams may be interested in like Lee and Utley also make over $20 mill. Whatever happens in the next few weeks it will be interesting to see who may come and who may go before the end of July.

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