Ranking The Trade Bait: Position Players

As the trade deadline approaches, it's time to take a look at who might be dangled for other teams to consider. It's also time to look at who other teams may have the most interest in dealing for as the Phillies look to revamp.

Sal Fasano - While Fasano isn't the worst choice you could make for a back-up catcher, he's certainly expendable. He's a veteran catcher who knows how to handle a pitching staff and some teams could have mild interest. At best though, he's likely to be a throw-in as part of a bigger deal and if anybody wants him, they can take him.

Mike Lieberthal - Had he stayed healthy and anywhere near the production that he was giving early in the season, Lieberthal would be an attractive trade candidate. Unfortunately, he may not even be activated from the DL until the trade deadline has passed. The chances of finding a taker for him are slim and none, so the Phillies will have to just be thankful that he's in the last year of his contract and he won't need to be an issue past this season.

Carlos Ruiz - This guy should be in the majors and playing everyday. He's a player that the Phillies need to answer some questions about and the more seasoning he gets, the better. With the injury to Fasano, he could be up with the club as early as today and if they do anything right, he should stay in the majors for the rest of the season, with a big chunk of playing time. Would other teams be interested? Possibly, but the Phillies don't need to be dealing prospects, so it's likely that Ruiz won't go anywhere.

David Bell - Like Lieberthal, he's in the last year of his contract. The Kansas City Royals could use some help at third base and it would give Bell the opportunity to play for his Dad, Buddy Bell, who is the Royals' manager. He's not attractive, but some teams could use him and if the Phillies were to pay some of his remaining contract, there could be a deal to be had, but he won't bring much in return. Bell is also easy to replace, since they could simply slide Abraham Nunez into third base.

Chris Coste - How about giving Coste some expanded playing time? The guy toiled in the minors for years and the Phillies aren't going anywhere. He could conceivably be a utility player for the Phillies next season and getting him into games certainly wouldn't hurt. He's attractive because he can play a couple different positions and serve at least as a quality emergency catcher. Since he's unproven in the majors, he's not going to be of much interest to other clubs, so dealing him isn't an issue.

Ryan Howard - Trade him and the line to run Pat Gillick out of town will form quickly. The Phillies need to let every other team know to not even ask about Howard's availability. We went through this last year and nobody offered what he was worth, so now, the Phillies should just tell everyone to not even look at him.

Abraham Nunez - There are teams who might give a little for Nunez. The more he plays, the more valuable he is to a team, since he doesn't handle the bench role too well. Odds are though that teams aren't going to be climbing over each other to get to Nunez. The Phillies would be better served to deal Bell and put Nunez in the lineup everyday.

Jimmy Rollins - The Phillies should give some consideration to dealing Rollins. He's a good player and a slick fielder, but his offense is lacking. He's certainly not a leadoff hitter and when he's dropped lower in the lineup, he starts swinging for the fences and his average drops. The problem is that the Phillies don't really have a viable replacement that they could throw in at shortstop.

Chase Utley - See Ryan Howard and copy the notes to Utley's assessment. He can't go anywhere.

Bobby Abreu - There is a hefty contract and a no-trade clause to deal with, so sending Abreu elsewhere would be tough. The Yankees and Tigers are the most interested, but it doesn't look like Abreu would accept a deal to Detroit. New York is a different story though and he could be agreeable to heading there. If the Phillies can get any decent return for Abreu, they should make the move. He's worn out his welcome in Philly and has just 14 homeruns since his amazing performance in last year's Homerun Derby at the All-Star Game; ironically, that game was in Detroit, so Abreu would likely be a disappointment to Tigers fans who can easily visualize his drives there last July.

Pat Burrell - The Phillies are in the same situation with Burrell that they are with Abreu. The Dodgers reportedly have some interest, but it's not a burning interest. If Gillick can deal either Abreu or Burrell, he'll be lucky. If he can deal both, he's a genius.

David Dellucci - He may be the most likely Phillie to be traded by the deadline. Teams would love to get his bat in the lineup everyday and it's likely that his recent display when he was given more playing time upped his value. He's 32 and a free agent at the end of the season, but the Phillies should seriously consider keeping Dellucci and dealing Abreu and/or Burrell instead, even if they don't get a whole bunch in return.

Chris Roberson - It was thought early in the year that Roberson would be an attractive piece of bait for the Phillies to package to get veteran pitching help. Now that the Phillies shopping habits have changed, it's not likely that Roberson is going anywhere. Since that's the case, they should get him into the lineup as much as possible and see exactly what kind of player they've got.

Aaron Rowand - Ever since sacrificing his face to make a catch, fans love Aaron Rowand and they should. He plays all out, no matter what the score or the situation and isn't afraid to let other players know the he expects the same from them. He's exactly the kind of player that fans love and has the experience for the Phillies to use as they retool the roster. Will he be traded though? It's not out of the question. The Phillies figure to deal at least one of their outfielders and maybe two or three, so Rowand could be in the mix if the Phillies get the right offer.

Shane Victorino - He's caught between being a guy you can package to get a veteran or being a player you can use to get a prospect. He's got a lot of talent and did a great job when he was filling in for Rowand. Again, look for the Phillies outfield situation to change before August 1 and there are no guarantees if Victorino will see other guys dealt to open a starting spot for him or if he'll be traded elsewhere as the Phillies open up a spot for somebody else.

The Phillies have a number of players that they should be getting a longer look at. Guys like Roberson, Ruiz, Coste and Victorino could be pieces of the puzzle down the road. Ruiz may be needed to step in behind the plate full-time next season and Roberson and Victorino could be considerations for a retooled outfield, which will certainly be looking different either by the trade deadline or by Opening Day of 2007. This is a team going nowhere with a bunch of players who have become much too complacent and changes need to be made. It's not out of the question that simply putting Dellucci and Victorino in the outfield in place of Burrell and Abreu could make this team better and the Phillies need to examine all options for lineup moves and potential trades.

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