Is Abreu A Trade Waiting To Happen?

Bobby Abreu is starting to get hot. Meanwhile, there continues to be loose talk of trading Abreu for a box of cigars and a dozen autographed Shane Victorino jerseys. Are the Phillies deep enough to trade Bobby Abreu?

Everybody seems to have an opinion. The debate is a political football kicked around by Phillies fans for a long time now. What are the pros and cons?

The short answer for now is forget about it.

Major league baseball isn't some fantasy league where you can swap players like baseball cards. Most teams simply can't afford Abreu, who weighs in at about 15 million dollars a year through 2008. There is a limited market for players that provide suitable value in return. Player-for-player deals are harder at that salary level, and multi-player deals are more difficult still.

Bobby Abreu is far too important to the Phillies to dismiss lightly. Just because Shane Victorino is hot doesn't mean we should immediately trade Abreu.

The Phillies should make a run with Abreu and see where they stand in the fall. It takes the pressure of a pennant race to bring out the best in blockbuster trades. The desperation of false hopes might make another team offer too much for that final push. Or it might make the Phillies do the same. Certainly the Ugueth Urbina for Placido Polanco deal can be looked at in that light.

As long as the Phillies are in the race, don't expect them to deal Abreu unless someone makes an offer Gillick can't refuse.

David Bell has contributed a mostly punchless .271, and the catchers, pitchers and the leadoff batter have badly struggled at the dish. The Phillies pitchers look like they never pick up a bat. Speaking of pitchers, what's with the Phillies tossing batting practice to opposing pitchers? Can we get some outs in the nine-hole?

Jimmy Rollins is starting to get on base again and that's a good sign for the Phillies. When Rollins struggles, the 7-8-9-1 holes in the Phillies lineup can become a line of marching sombreros through a one-hit wasteland. Against stacked teams like the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets, Rollins approach becomes key. He simply cannot become an easy three or four-pitch out if the Phillies want to win. On the other hand, if he gets hot again, look out.

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