The Phillies seem to have done pretty well for themselves in the trade market over the past month. They've added a number of solid prospects, who figure to help the Phillies at some point down the road. Jerad Eickhoff has already made two major league starts and Alec Asher will make his debut Sunday with Philadelphia, quickly bringing two of the players acquired in the Cole Hamels deal to Philadelphia.
There is still a little time to make waiver deals so that teams can add a veteran player to their postseason roster and the Phillies still have some cards that they could deal.
We've heard little of any trades involving Ryan Howard. The Phillies have said they would eat a chunk of Howard's contract in any deal and in case you haven't noticed, he's not having a bad season - 21-72-.242/.290/.461 - so there could be a team out there that would like to add some power to a lineup, especially if they're an American League team that could use Howard as a DH. Lately, Howard has been sitting against left-handers, thanks to his .138 average against southpaws this season. It's unlikely there will be any takers, which may not be the worst thing for the Phillies. There aren't any real prospects waiting to take over at first for the Phillies and Howard is a good clubhouse guy. Howard is guaranteed $25-million for next season, with a $23-million club option for 2017 or a $10-million buyout on the deal after next year. For a while, it looked like the Phillies might just cut Howard and eat all of the remaining money, but now, it looks like he could actually play out the 2016 season and then be bought out by the club.
Domonic Brown has shown some flashes of returning to the form that he showed in the first-half of the 2013 season, but only flashes. Brown's numbers - 5-25-.228/.283/.348 - don't scream for someone to deal for him and take him off of the Phillies hands. He's making $2.5-million this season and is again eligible for arbitration following the season. Don't be surprised if he finishes out the season as a Phillie and is non-tendered during the offseason.
Carlos Ruiz might be a nice addition for a playoff team who could use a veteran catcher. He's owed the remainder of his $8.5-million deal for this season, another $8.5-million for 2016 and then either a $0.5-million buyout or $4.5-million for the 2017 season. As with other players, the Phillies wouldn't be afraid to eat a chunk of the salary, but then, they would expect a better return in the form of prospects. Ruiz seems to have accepted a platoon role with Cameron Rupp in Philly and it's likely he would do the same with another club. A playoff team could do worse than to have Ruiz on their roster in the postseason. He's not an everyday player anymore and not worth the money that he's owed, but a team wouldn't have to pay the full freight if they were interested in bringing him to town.
Jeff Francoeur was placed on revocable waivers, claimed by another team and then pulled back by the Phillies, so he's not eligible to be traded. Andres Blanco has shown himself to be a pretty valuable utility player this season with Philadelphia and he's great with younger players, especially latin players. He works cheap and likely wouldn't cost a team too much in terms of players. He also wouldn't bring a big return to the Phillies and they might just be better off keeping him. In fact, the Phillies might want to consider re-signing both Francoeur and Blanco to deals for next season, since they have great clubhouse value, would be relatively cheap to sign, and are great clubhouse assets.
Early in the season, it looked like Aaron Harang might be a nice trade chip. He pitched poorly, went on the DL and quite simply, hasn't been very good. There's not going to be much, if any, market for the veteran right-hander, but the good news for the Phillies is that he is signed only through the end of the season.
Odds are that the Phillies will go quietly into September without making any moves. Truth is, that they've probably made all the moves they could have possibly made in dealing Jonathan Papelbon, Cole Hamels, Ben Revere and Chase Utley.