Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Major League Baseball trade Deadline Day

Trade deadline day is one of my favorite days of the year. I love the team building, the planning for the future, the balancing of current needs against the need to be competitive down the road.  Today, the Phillies, quite unlike the previous five years, have become sellers, not buyers. The real goal is to position themselves to rebound in 2013, to make 2012 a one year aberration, not the start of a downward slide. The Phillies have enough core talent to be contenders next year, but they have myriad holes.  One of their biggest issues, at least to my eyes, is complacency.  The core is used to winning, are they too comfortable and perhaps not putting forth the effort displayed in previous years? The constants, the players whose dedication is never questioned, Chase Utley and Roy Halladay, have been injured. Others, are not displaying the same drive seen in years past, Rollins, Victorino. Despite being fond links to the Phillies glorious recent past, a shakeup may be in order. (As of this writing, Victorino is almost certainly gone, traded to the Dodgers for a middle reliever). It will be fascinating to see how general manger Ruben Amaro responds, who he decides to build around, will he incorporate some of the remaining Phillies prospects,  looking to see if their youthful enthusiasm and real opportunity to win a job provide a spark, and a springboard into next year?  Further tuning will be required in the offseason, but the rest of this year will help determine whether it is a refurbishment or an extreme makeover.

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