COMMENTARY | It came down to the wire, but the Philadelphia Phillies would not leave Nashville empty handed. On the final day of Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings, the Phillies traded pitcher Vance Worley and minor league prospect Trevor May to the Minnesota Twins for outfielder Ben Revere.
Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reported yesterday afternoon that the Phillies have also come to an agreement with the Texas Rangers that would bring seven-time all-star Michael Young to Philadelphia. That deal, however, is apparently pending approval from Young who as a "10-5 player" - 10 years in the majors, 5 with the same team - has the option to veto any trade.
After weeks of speculation over what the Phillies are looking to do, and a lot of those options quickly coming off the table, the 2013 roster is finally starting to take shape.
Ben Revere probably wasn't on anyone's radar this offseason. In fact, I'm sure some fans probably had to look him up after they heard about the trade. He's not the big-time acquisition they had been hoping for, but given the Phillies' needs, it was a very savvy move.
Revere is a young Juan Pierre they hope will turn into Michael Bourn. He is a web-gem connoisseur who stole 40 bases last year in just 124 games. He will play the same role they would have asked of Bourn but in the form of a 24-year-old with a team-controlled contract.
The Phillies have been after Young for a few years. They tried and failed to trade for him before the 2011 season but this time they have apparently put together a package Texas is willing to accept. Whether or not Young is willing to accept it is an entirely different matter.
Young has spent his entire 12-year career with Texas and has played every role and position the team has asked of him. Now, however, the Rangers are retooling their infield with 19-year-old shortstop Jurickson Profar and Young may be the odd man out. A move to Philadelphia would offer him a chance to be an everyday fielder again.
The big question now for the Phillies is: what comes next?
With a new center fielder and potentially a new third baseman, the Phillies could still use a more seasoned corner outfielder and bullpen arm. With the market thin in both areas, the Phillies may have to look internally for the answers.
Darin Ruf led the minor leagues in home runs last season with 38, earning him a September call up. In 12 games with the big club (33 at bats), he hit .333 with 3 home runs and 10 RBI.
33 at bats is hardly a viable sample size, but if you do the math, that pace would put him at about 40 home runs and 130 RBI in 500 plate appearances. It's highly unlikely he will reach that level, but the Phillies are sure hoping he can become at least half of that.
Phillippe Aumont was part of the trade that sent Roy Halladay to the Phillies and Cliff Lee to the Seattle Mariners. While Aumont did not pan out to be the top of the rotation starter the Phils had hoped, he showed some promise last year in the bullpen and could develop into a late-inning guy.
What about Josh Hamilton?
An interesting and plausible scenario has presented itself regarding the Phillies and Hamilton. By trading for a center fielder with a controlled salary as opposed to spending big bucks on the free agent market, they've opened up a considerable chunk in their 2013 payroll and may have left enough room to sign Hamilton and still be under the $179 million luxury-tax threshold.
The market for Hamilton is also shrinking. He was not a suitable option for the Phillies when he was thought to command a 7-year $150+ million contract. Now that his potential suitors have shrunk and Texas seems to be more interested in Zack Greinke, it looks more like Hamilton may have to settle for a 3-4 year deal, much more suitable for the Phillies.
I haven't heard a report of the Phillies showing interest in quite some time, but with Ruben Amaro that doesn't really mean anything. I still have a gut though, and it feels a lot like it did in 2010. Maybe there will be another 3:00 a.m. wake-up call this year.
All stats and figures are courtesy of baseball-reference.com.
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