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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Should the Phillies' Jettison Brett Myers?

After last night's debacle in Arlington, the front office should give serious thought to what's been rumored around the Delaware Valley for weeks -- that Cleveland needs a closer, that Myers closed well last year, and that the Phils' need C.C. Sabathia to help them get to the World Series. If you're the Phillies, you make that deal in a heartbeat. If you're the Indians, well, you have to decide whether you're going to be sellers or buyers during a disappointing season thus far. If in fact that deal was offered to the Phils and they declined it, Phils' fans have every right to question the drive of the front office to win the title.

As Baseball Prospectus points out in its wonderful 2008 edition, the Phillies have been in a weird holding pattern for about 8 years -- winning between 80 and 90 games, and that this type of pattern doesn't last. A team either goes beyond and gets better or it drops down and has bad years. The Phillies have a good opportunity -- with the Mets so far being unable to reach the excellence predicted for them after the Santana trade and the D-backs coming down to earth -- to challenge the Cubs for the right to go to the World Series. It would be a shame if some mythical "what if" view of Myers eclipses the reality that chances like these don't come around too often.

Yes, Brad Lidge becomes a free agent after '09 and yes, the Phils' farm system is weak, so, no, you don't want to trade pitching prospect Carlos Carrasco, catching prospect Lou Marson and outfield prospect Greg Golson if you don't have to, and to trade all those guys plus Myers for Sabathia is too rich. That doesn't change the fact that the guy who came into your season as the #2 starter is now pitching like a Quadruple A pitcher and is now your fifth starter (yes, Adam Eaton is faring better than Myers). That's a hard fact to address for a could-be-very-good baseball team, and it will prevent that team from, in fact, being as good as it needs to be to get to the World Series.

Let the trade talks begin -- in earnest.


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