Donald and Marson Could Still Be Trade Bait

This time of year, many top prospects hear their names pop up in potential trade scenarios. Jason Donald and Lou Marson have both heard their names and could continue to even though both are sidelined with injuries.

Any club that was interested in either Lou Marson or Jason Donald likely won't have that interest dashed even though both are going to miss some time.

Marson went down with a right ankle bruise when he took a foul ball off his ankle Thursday night and Marson was diagnosed with a torn meniscus on Friday. Marson will miss at least a week, while Donald will be out three or four weeks.

The good news is that neither injury is the sort that would threaten the long-term status of either player.

The Boston Red Sox have shown interest in Jason Donald and a potential swap for pitcher Brad Penny has been thrown around. Penny has been inconsistent for Boston this season, but four of his last five starts have been solid [he's 2-1, 2.63 in those four starts] and he's lowered his ERA from 8.66 at the end of April to his current mark of 5.32 with a 5-2 record. Penny signed with Boston as a free agent during the offseason and is owed in the neighborhood of $2.5 million for the remainder of the season.

As a top catching prospect, Marson has drawn interest as a potential trade target as well.

For their part, the Phillies have said that they'll be slow to deal any of their top prospects, but allow that they may have to use their farm system to find a pitcher or other player for the major league club.

As careful as they may want to be, Marson and Donald would have to be considered to be among the prospects that the Phillies would consider dealing in the right move. Marson is made expendable because of the fact that the Phillies have a young Carlos Ruiz at the major league level and young Travis D'Arnaud coming up behind Marson in the minors. In fact, catching is one of the deeper positions in the Phillies organization.

As for Donald, he is a potential major league third baseman for the Phillies in 2010 if Pedro Feliz leaves via free agency. He could also become a strong utility infielder for the Phillies if he doesn't win a regular job as an infielder. Again though, he's blocked at his primary position by shortstop Jimmy Rollins, which ultimately makes him expendable.

As for who is untouchable, the theory is that players like Kyle Drabek, Jason Knapp and possibly Dominic Brown are potentially untouchable. If the organization had to name just one untouchable player, it's likely that it would be Drabek. After undergoing Tommy John surgery, the 21 year old right-hander is performing well at Double-A and cold potentially be in Philly by the end of the season.

While Brown is unlikely to be dealt, he too, is out with an injury as a broken finger will keep him sidelined for three or four weeks.

Whether it's for trade potential or future star potential in Philadelphia, the Phillies dodged a bullet in that the injuries to Marson and Donald aren't serious enough to interfere with their potential star power.



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