First on the trade front; would the Phillies trade Aaron Rowand?
Any potential deal would have to be a big one for the Phillies to consider sending Rowand elsewhere. They could fill his spot in the lineup either by putting Michael Bourn in center or moving Shane Victorino to center to make room for Greg Dobbs or Jayson Werth. The offensive output wouldn't be the same, but could suffice, especially considering that offense hasn't been the problem for the Phillies this season. At this point though, the Phillies would have to get a prominent starting pitcher in the deal and neither San Diego or the Chicago White Sox have that type of player to send to Philadelphia. That would mean either a third team would have to be involved or the Phillies would have to find another suitor for Rowand.
They would also have to consider those possible offensive ramifications as well. Keep in mind that Dobbs has never held a starting spot in a Major League lineup and Werth is well removed from being in a starting lineup. Bourn, although talented, is still unproven and certainly wouldn't figure to provide the offense - especially any power - that Rowand adds to the lineup. The best part of Bourn's addition to the lineup would likely be that the Phillies could drop Jimmy Rollins lower in the lineup and put Bourn at the top. Again, Rollins wouldn't provide quite the punch that Rowand does lower in the lineup.
So, if Rowand wakes up on August 1st and is still a Philadelphia Phillie, how long after that will he be in town?
Right now, it looks like it would take a three-year deal for the Phillies to re-sign Rowand. The money would be up there, but not so horrible that the team couldn't take the financial hit. Once Rowand hits the open market though, things could get pretty pricey and the length of the deal would likely inflate, too. The White Sox would certainly be after him and you have to figure that the Yankees would also jump into the fray. The best odds that the Phillies have of retaining Rowand are for them to get a deal done before the end of the season, but there haven't been any talks to that effect as of yet.
If Rowand does walk and the Phillies don't replace him by trade or free agency, then the same fall back options of Bourn, Werth and/or Dobbs become the plan.
Audio Extra: Philly Baseball News Managing Editor Chuck Hixson and Senior Writer Allen Ariza talked about Aaron Rowand and just how long he may be a member of the Phillies on Philly Baseball News Radio.
Hear the full discussion between Chuck Hixson and Allen Ariza.