Prospects, casting and dreaming of trout


We’re back once again with the 97.3 ESPN Phillies Mailbag. Every week we take your questions and talk about them on the Sports Bash with Mike Gill. Tune in every Tuesday to hear your questions answered live!

Which prospects do you think are most likely to be suspended for expiring trades? I know it depends on controllable talent.
~Tom

The Phillies agricultural system has certainly received its fair share of criticism in recent years. But the Phillies get some credit for developing role players such as Matt Vierling and for the first baseman-turned-designated-hitter’s recent push Darick Room. However, when it comes to prospects who can attract another club, I think that while the prospect pool is still rather thin, some players could land a useful chunk or two from the Phillies.

First of all, it should be noted that when it comes to pitchers Andre Painter and Mick Abel, forget them. There’s no pitcher in the market that the Phillies would be comfortable trading for, either. Definitely not a short term rental. If we are in 2009 and one of the two was the Kyle Drabek in a Roy Halladay trade, maybe.

But a Halladay-esque room just doesn’t exist.

The Phillies would definitely trade almost anything else. The Phillies have depth in Donny Sands, Rafael Marchan and Logan O’Hoppe. Some reports have said that O’Hoppe isn’t necessarily untouchable, but they would like a controllable piece in return.

Marchan is still considered a prospect, and Sands, acquired from the Yankees with Nick Nelson this offseason, eye-opener Lehigh Valley, batting .333 with a .941 OPS in 129 at bat.

I see Mickey Moniac go to a team that has time to play him daily as part of an outfielder deal.

The Phillies have two center field prospects in Simon Muzziotti and Johan Rojas. They could spare one.

And don’t forget another trade chip the Phillies have: money. Already above the “luxury tax” figure, they might be willing to take a few dollars (either from the player they acquire or accepting a bad contract) to have to give up less, if the deal is good.

The Phillies desperately need a starting pitcher. What is a realistic option that would make a difference?
~James

My favorite that the Phillies could acquire would be Merrill Kelly Arizona Diamondbacks. He was someone the Phillies were interested in last year. A controllable piece, it would have two years of control left after this year. He could be the one the Phillies have to give up an O’Hoppe guy for.

Kelly is probably the solid mid-rotation starter type. With the uncertainty around Zach Eflin and Ranger Suarez, a starter like this could prove very useful in the way Joe Blanton made in 2008.

There will be other starters there. Martin Perez is someone we talked about. Perez was just named to the American League All-Star Team for his return season at Texas. Perez would be a hire; he is a free agent at the end of the season.

Another short-term signing this offseason by the Pirates is left-handed Jose Quintana. So far, it looks like the Pirates are getting a lot of interest. It’s probably because the cost would be the lowest in terms of salary, and maybe the impression is that he wouldn’t get a great prospect.

With a 3.33 ERA so far this season, Quintana has a 1.8 WAR in 16 starts.

Although I’m not a starter, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Phillies were interested in someone like David Robertson. Yes, this David Robertson. While he’s barely kicked off his two-year deal with the Phillies, he’s been solid for the Chicago Cubs on a one-year contract.

With the endless struggle in the Angels organization, do you think they would ever offload Mike Trout and cash in while they could? Would Dave Dombrowski empty the farm if he had the chance?
~ Dave

Ah, the dream that will never go away. It’s a beautiful dream: that of South Jersey Mike Trout pinstripe Phillies. Sounds good, right? But I’m afraid to say: keep dreaming.

Think of it this way: The Phillies were at a point last offseason where they could tear the club down and then start over or try to win. The reason they really wanted to try to win? They had Bryce Harper at its peak.

Would you have suggested the Phillies trade Harper when they were struggling around June 1?

If your answer is “no”, the situation could be similar with Trout. Along with having the best player in the game, they have another player who you could say could provide After value to the team in Shohei Ohtani. That’s because in addition to being a designated hitter, Ohtani can take the mound and pitch all five days.

Add to high price Anthony Rendon and the Angels have a solid base.

So they have to try to win, right? Rendon is out for the year. Trout has had a bit of a peck, but he’s mostly himself. And who knows how long Ohtani can do what he does.

So like the Phillies, the Angels will try to keep retooling/rebuilding/whatever word you prefer on the fly. Trout’s presence will inspire them to try. Even if they fail, they want to use Mike Trout’s bounty to try and win.




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