Trading Theories

So the Phillies are in a bit of a bind right now. With Brett Myers’ impending surgery later this week, the starting rotation now has a hole that it needs to fill. Hard throwing left-hander Antonio Bastardo will take the ball on Tuesday night, but is he really the long term solution?

In baseball trade history, two contradicting ideals collide. There are those who say you “shouldn’t mortgage the future” in a trade. But the other notion of “you have to give something to get something” seems more realistic. But how much is too much and when is it okay to trade top youth?

In the case of the Phillies, they shouldn’t be afraid to unload the likes of Lou Marson or Carlos Carrasco if, and only if, they get a pitcher back who is under contract for more than just this year. The Brewers unloaded Matt LaPorta last year for a half season worth of CC Sabathia. It worked in the short term but now the Brew crew is without CC or its top outfield prospect.

Jake Peavy has been rumored to be available. He’s 28 years old, a Cy Young award winner and under contract for several more years. So it makes perfect sense that the Phillies would have to give up some top minor league talent for a co-ace. People who think the Phils could get him for Kyle Kendrick, Eric Bruntlett and a bag of sunflower seeds are crazy. If the Phillies are serious about bringing in a real deal starter—and they should be—they’ll have to come to grips with the fact that some of the guys in the system that they cherish will have to made available. The Padres (or the Reds for Aaron Harang or the Mariners for Erik Bedard) are going to demand top prospects in return. Its how the baseball trading heirachy works.

So the Phillies should pony-up with Lou Marson, Jason Donald or Carlos Carrasco and try and get a deal done. This club is capable of a return trip to the World Series, but Antonio Bastardo or Kyle Kendrick aren’t the answer. They need to acquire an arm from the outside. There’s no reason to “mortgage the future” for a rent-a-player, but if you really want to win then you’ll certainly need to “give something to get something” of value in return.

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