Is Castro First Match In Phils' Fire Sale?

While the deal to get lefty Fabio Castro wasn't a typical fire sale type of move, it could lay the groundwork for other deals. After all, the Phillies now have four left-handers in their bullpen, leaving some options open for deals.

The Phillies sending 22 year old Daniel Haigwood to Texas for Fabio Castro doesn't signal a fire sale. It does put the kindling in place and could be the first match that will lead to a bunch of changes on the roster.

The deal between Texas and the Phillies is interesting for many reasons. First, the Phillies have reportedly been enamored with Castro since last fall when Pat Gillick came on board. At that time, he was a member of the Chicago White Sox, so why didn't Gillick have him included in the deal that brought Aaron Rowand, Daniel Haigwood and Giovany Gonzalez to Philadelphia? After all, he ended up sending Haigwood to Texas to get Castro after they picked him up in the Rule 5 Draft. Since the Sox didn't protect him, you have to figure that they would have been willing to include him in the Jim Thome trade. Now, the Phillies have to keep him on their major league roster for the rest of the season even though he hasn't pitched above A-Ball prior to this season.

Why trade a AA left-handed starter for a left-handed reliever who should be at AA? They're both young enough and close enough in age that there's no advantage there, plus, the big league club already has three lefties in the bullpen.

The reason why is the kindling. It's the groundwork for other moves that Gillick can make. Aaron Fultz, Rheal Cormier and Arthur Rhodes could all be of interest to teams seeking a left-handed reliever for their bullpen. The addition of a young lefty certainly makes moving a lefty or two, or three, much easier for the team to swallow. You have to figure that those moves would bring younger players back to the Phillies' organization and be the more typical fire sale variety.

Speaking of the Texas Rangers; you know who they asked about? David Dellucci. Yes, the same David Dellucci that they sent to the Phillies for Robinson Tejeda this past spring. Gillick has to be happy with a couple of the moves that he's made, considering that Texas wants Dellucci back and the White Sox would love to have Rowand back. That's the sign of a good deal. It's no coincidence that Dellucci has started three games in a row in place of the slumping Pat Burrell. It's showcase time for Dellucci. Perhaps, the Phillies should consider going the other way and look at keeping Dellucci and clearing a spot for him in the outfield by shipping Bobby Abreu elsewhere.

The Tigers are sniffing around when it comes to Abreu, but you get the impression that they're not sold. They could use a left-handed bat in their lineup, but the price tag in terms of Abreu's contract is hefty. It's a situation where if the Phillies are willing to eat a chunk of the contract, a move could be made, if Abreu would agree to move to Detroit and there's no guarantee that will happen. Maybe Placido Polanco could have the same sort of discussion with Abreu that Larry Bowa had with him when the Yankees were in town. Too bad the Tigers and Phillies don't meet this season.

The truth is that there are likely to be a number of moves made between now and the end of the month. With the Phillies sliding lower than President Bush's approval ratings, a fire sale is not out of the question. After all, this team has had much of the same core of players over the past several seasons and couldn't win under Terry Francona, Larry Bowa or Charlie Manuel. They also couldn't win under Ed Wade or Pat Gillick, so that leaves just the players to change, unless you consider a change in ownership, but let's not dream that far.

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