Interesting time for Phils, Dodgers to meet

The Phillies and Dodgers have a long history of key meetings with each other. The one they're about to play in Los Angeles is interesting not because of its meaning in the standings, but because of the pending trade deadlines and how the two teams matchup.

The Dodgers have a young shortstop who figures to be a quality major leaguer, but he hasn't really stepped into that role just yet. Dee Gordon - the son of former Phillies' reliever Tom "Flash" Gordon - is hitting just .229 in 78 games this season after having a fairly impressive debut season in 2011 when he hit .304 in 56 games.

Besides Gordon's struggles, he's now on the DL with a thumb injury and won't be back any time soon. There aren't any quality replacements in the Dodgers' organization, so they're looking for one elsewhere.

Cue the Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers rumors.

Actually, the rumors in this case could have something there to back them up. Rollins is a California guy and while he calls the Bay Area home, Los Angeles might be a destination that he would consider. It's important that Rollins like the proposed destination, because he now has ten-and-five rights (ten major league seasons and at least the last five with the same team) which give him the opportunity to veto any proposed deal.

The Dodgers have new, high-profile owners with Magic Johnson leading the way and Rollins might be a good fit for the organization.

While the new ownership has some money to throw around, will they want to throw some of it at Rollins though. The Phillies were nice enough to give Rollins a three-year deal with an easily vesting option for a fourth season, valued at $44 million if Rollins gets the fourth year of the deal. The deal was just signed last December, so there is still a majority of the deal remaining.

Actually, the Dodgers have a lot of interest in the Phillies these days. They had a scout in Colorado on Sunday to watch Cole Hamels and they also have an interest in center fielder Shane Victorino along with Rollins.

As for Hamels, the Dodgers farm system likely isn't deep enough to get the left-hander away from the Phillies. Instead, they'll have to hope that he hits free agency and they can make a run at him then. The organization does have enough talent in it though to pull off a deal for Rollins and/or Victorino if that's the direction that they decide to go.

While it's hard to gauge just how deep into their farm system the Dodgers would dig for trade bait, it figures that 22-year old right-hander Nate Eovaldi would hold some interest for the Phillies. Eovaldi started six games for the Dodgers last season and eight this season and has a combined mark of 2-7, 3.97, but has struggled with his control at times. In 81 2/3 innings, Eovaldi has walked 37 and struck out 47. Eovaldi is pitching the series opener for the Dodgers, so the Phillies will get a first-hand look at what he throws.

Ironically, Gordon isn't the only player on the team with fatherly ties to Philadelphia.

Scott Van Slyke, 25, is the son of Andy Van Slyke, who played for the Phillies in 1995, his last in the majors. Like his dad, Van Slyke is an outfielder and he also plays some first base. The younger Van Slyke made his major league debut with the Dodgers back on May 9th and is hitting just .161 in 27 games with the big club.

The Dodgers organization is also home to Ivan DeJesus Jr., whose dad was acquired by the Phillies in a deal that sent Larry Bowa and Ryne Sandberg to the Cubs. The 25-year old version of Ivan DeJesus has played 40 games with the Dodgers between last season and this season as both a second and third baseman. In those 40 games, he's hitting .231 in the majors.

Neither Van Slyke or DeJesus are considered top prospects, but they could be considered as part of a deal. Generally, if you're going to grab any worthwhile prospects from the Dodgers, you're going to have to ask for pitching. Coming into the season, 13 of the top 20 prospects in the system were pitchers.

It should also be noted that the Oakland A's, a team that Rollins followed as a kid, are also looking for help at the shortstop position. Whether they would deem Rollins to be a good fit or not hasn't really been determined. If they are interested, perhaps the Phillies could get former Lehigh Valley IronPigs Brandon Moss and Michael Taylor back from Oakland. Moss has put up strong numbers at the major league level and Taylor is at Triple-A only because the A's outfield is pretty well filled.

In all seriousness, Taylor, 26, could be a nice pickup. He's hit just .156 in 15 major league games over the past two seasons, but has a Triple-A average of .283 over four seasons at the level. Last season, he hit 16-64-.272/.360/.456 at Sacramento. This season, he's hitting 8-47-.312/.418/.478 in 13 less games than he played last season.

While Hamels and Victorino appear to be targets one and two, J-Roll appears to be gaining ground and it will be interesting to see just how deep the Phillies potential purge of players goes. If it reaches down to Rollins, then perhaps the words "fire sale" will be appropriate.



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