The GM Game: Could The Phillies Get Aaron Boone?

<I>The GM Game</I> allows our users to submit trade ideas to the PhillyBaseballNews.com GM to see what he thinks of the plan. If you want to play <I>The GM Game</I>, just send your ideas to <a href=mailto:phillies1964@att.net>phillies1964@att.net</a>, along with why the deal works for both teams. If our GM uses your idea, you'll receive a complimentary one-month Total Access Plan membership. Check out the <I>Philly Town Message Board</I> for more details. Now, on to one users trade idea.

Our trade proposal today comes from one of our message board users, Skudplayr. He's thinking that maybe the Phillies and Cincinnati Reds could hook up on a deal.

The Deal: Phillies send outfielder Jason Michaels, minor league pitcher Aaron Myette and minor league first baseman Ryan Howard to Cincinnati for infielder Aaron Boone.

Why it works for the Phillies: The Phillies get a possible 3B to play while David Bell is injured and if he struggles after his return. Boone is an experienced all-star caliber player who can help the Phillies during their stretch run.

Why it works for Cincinnati: The Reds get an underrated outfielder who can play any position and fill in while Ken Griffey Jr is injured. Michaels has shown at times this year that he should be given the chance to play everyday. Howard is a top tier talent who wouldn't get a chance to shine with the Phillies due to the signing of Thome. Howard has done extraordinarily well at class A Lakewood this year, and played in the Futures game in Chicago. Myette is a 26 year old pitcher who was acquired from the Indians for outfielder Lyle Mouton. Myette can contribute to the Reds bullpen, or he can hone his skills in AAA until the time is right.

The GM says…

This is a very interesting deal. If I'm Reds' GM Jim Bowden, I am intrigued.

The first thing that jumps out at me though is Myette. Yes, he's one of those "tremendous upside" kind of guys, but come on. He didn't make it in Chicago and the Rangers didn't even keep him around. Then, the Indians sent him to Philly for a guy who is, at best, a utility outfielder. Texas and Cleveland are building around young players. If they figured he had any sort of future, they wouldn't have let him go so easily. The biggest downside to him is that he's a bit of a head case and I was surprised the Phillies got him. Other GMs know that if you're going to deal with the Phillies, look first to get a good, young pitcher out of the deal. Myette doesn't cut it. You don't need to put Ryan Madson or Cole Hamels in the deal, but I want something better than Myette. How about Taylor Buchholz or Elizardo Ramirez? Maybe even Geoff Geary or Greg Kubes.

Now, what about Michaels? The Reds have a lot of outfielders, but they can't keep them healthy, so getting a guy like Michaels might be a good idea. Michaels is solid and would work well in the Reds scheme, so he's a keeper.

As for Howard, who doesn't love a young, power-hitting lefthanded hitter? I'll take him off your hands without any problem.

So, as the Reds GM, I'm happy with what I'm getting, but can I really afford to give up Boone? He's been the good soldier and moved to second base, plus, he can also play shortstop and third base. He is pricey, making over $3 million this season and headed to arbitration over the winter, so it will save the Reds some money. Plus, we have young infielders – Brandon Larson and Felipe Lopez – coming along to play on the left side of the infield, but what about at second? Actually, the Reds have already talked about the possibility of moving Lopez to second base, so that's not a major hurdle for them to overcome. The Reds also have some other young middle infield types coming along in their minor league system.

So, if the Phillies put a different pitcher in there, the deal gets done as far as the folks in Cincinnati would be concerned.

The Final Word:

Would the Phillies really want to do this? David Bell should be back as soon as this weekend and all reports are that his back and hip feel great. He had been playing with a sore back almost all season and that may be what's been screwing him up at the plate. Larry Bowa would have to find a way to get playing time for Bell, Boone and Placido Polanco this season, which isn't impossible, but what about Tyler Houston? And, what about the fact that you don't have Michaels to sub in the outfield? If Burrell really goes in the tank for the rest of the season and the Phillies decide to make a change, do you want Ricky Ledee or Michaels to take over?

This also makes things tough after this season. Bell is signed long-term, Polanco is eligible for free agency and Boone goes to arbitration. Barring a trade, we still have Bell and Boone. What about Chase Utley? He could spend a season breaking in slowly, getting at bats wherever he can, but that's not what the Phillies envision happening with him. There is an entire offseason to work that out though, so, it might not be a deal breaker.

Boone is the type of guy this city would love and his power would be a great addition to the lineup. He's a tough player, who would likely respond well to Larry Bowa. It would be a lot of fun watching Bowa manage Boonie's kid, wouldn't it? It would get even more fun if the Phillies bring up Garry Maddox II in September, but I digress.

As interesting as this deal is, the Phillies should turn it down. There are too many question marks presented for this season and you don't want to create questions when you're in the hunt for a wild card spot. Not to mention, that the Phillies may not have the revenue to spend on Boone next season or this season for that matter. Actually, they may have it, but decide to devote it elsewhere. They're going to have a lot of free agents from the bullpen and that will have to be addressed. Interesting, but no thanks.

One little sidelight to this deal. If the Phillies can't sign Jimmy Rollins long-term, maybe the Phillies and Reds hook up during the winter. Boone can play shortstop, although he has primarily been a second and third baseman in the majors. How about sending Rollins to Cincinnati straight up during the offseason? There is still the question of money, but it's an interesting thought.


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