The season has gone pretty much as expected for the Phillies, who entered the 2013 season with a lot of questions, questions that almost all needed to be answered in a positive manner for them to contend.
Yes, they needed to have everything go right, and, as expected, everything has not gone right. Still, no one has really pulled away , and if things go well from here on, they could still contend, especially if Carlos Zambrano has something left in the tank. He's got to be better than Tyler Cloyd.
Should the Phillies blow up them team and start over? Okay...how? Trade Cliff Lee (with apologies to Kyle Kendrick and Jonathan Pettitbone, two things that have gone right) he has been their best pitcher. sure, if they were offered Giancarlo Stanton I'd do it, but Miami doesn't want an expensive player, so that won’t happen. Other than that or some similar outlandish offer, I’d keep him.
Trade Howard? Not likely unless you pay almost all of his salary, and even then you still won't get anyone. Might as well keep him. Especially as he's a leader, good teammate, someone who can show the new young guys the way.
Trade Rollins? I'd do it if the right offer came...and it may. They seem to have a capable replacement in Galvis, they can play Frandsen at second when Utley can't...intriguing, and worth exploring , wait for a contender who needs a shortstop and is willing to overpay.
Trade Utley? There's the rub. He's the leader, the kind of player you wish everyone to emulate...but, he's older, brittle, and about to be a free agent. You'd get something for him from a contender...but Ii think getting rid of iconic players who are the face of the team is a mistake, even though their production declines (Brian Dawkins anyone?) Keep him to show the new wave of Phillies how it should be done.
Trade Kendrick? Maybe...his value is at an all-time high. I've always been a supporter, thinking he was a valuable piece even as he was being pilloried by the fanbase, but I still think he's a fourth starter at best, and if you can get good value....I'd send him away, replace him with John Lannan when he comes back from injury ...and begin building for the future with new guys surrounding the old vets.
The Youngs? If you can get anything for either of them, do it and work their replacements in from the minors. (Darren Ruf for Delmon, with Domonic Brown moving to rightfield, and Cody Asche at third for Michael). These guys might help contenders, especially as they are on one year deals so the buyer won't be stuck for long.
Bottom line, I'd make some moves, and try to work more youth in around the core, so not a complete blow-up. The Yankees and Red Sox never seem to completely go with the youth movement, the try new pieces until they get it right and they always seem to be contending. The Phillies could do the same.