No more Shane Victorino. No more Hunter Pence.
Goodbye starting center fielder. Goodbye starting right fielder.
Goodbye .261 average, 9 home runs, 40 RBIs, 46 runs, 24 stolen bases and $9.5 million salary.
Hello five players you’ve probably never heard of before – except maybe outfielder Nate Schierholtz.
Is it 2013 yet?
It’s going to be a painful final two months of the season for the Philadelphia Phillies and their fans. Citizen Bank Park’s 200+ game sellout streak could end in coming weeks, as the more casual fans decide not to pony up to watch a baseball team that has given up for this year. Who out there remembers the mid-1990s and empty Veterans Stadium?
The Victorino and Pence trades were as much about shedding salary and avoiding the luxury tax – for this year and next – as they were about getting back solid prospects for the future.
Schierholtz is a fill-in for Pence in right field, but doesn’t have superstar potential. The Phillies also received Double-A catcher/first baseman Tommy Joseph and Single-A pitcher Seth Rosin in the Pence deal. Joseph has serious potential, according to scouts.
In exchange for Victorino, Philly received young relief pitcher Josh Lindblom and pitcher Ethan Martin, who has a power arm.
They are two trades that helped re-stock the Phillies’ farm system, but, maybe more importantly, they free up money for the team to try to contend again next season.
GM Ruben Amaro Jr. says that’s exactly what he expects the team to do, and he better be right. The Phillies’ core players are aging and expensive, and the team’s window of opportunity for another World Series championship is starting to close quickly.
It’s going to be a busy off-season for the Phillies who will have to find three replacement starters in the outfield (can Domonic Brown be one?), one at third base (goodbye Placido Polanco?) as well as replacements in the starting rotation (goodbye Joe Blanton?) and the bullpen.
The problem is that the off-season doesn’t even start for three more months. Can anyone say “E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!?!?”