Everyday millions of Phillies fans scour the internet, radio, and print media to find out just exactly who the Phillies are looking to acquire before the trade deadline at the end of the month. The same fans find a name or two and then ask themselves the same question: Why hasn’t it happened yet? There are a few, but very good, reasons why Ruben Amaro, Jr. and company haven’t produced the goods. Yet.
Reason number one. The high quality type of pitcher the Phillies have stated they are interested in is either on the DL or on a team not out of it yet or is selected to be an All-Star for their respective team. Every team must be represented at the All Star Game. If you eliminate a teams only representitve, you throw the whole roster off. Some people get shipped in, some get shipped out. So don’t really expect any big names before the All Star break ends.
I think any fan of any team would want a Jake Peavy or a Brandon Webb if made available. The truth of the matter is neither will be moved before the end of the month. Both are sidelined with injury and may only have one or two rehab starts in before the end of the month.
Finally, teams, like the Astros, hold on to the slimmest margin that they can make a run in the second half and make the postseason. The only teams who are really out of it at this point are the Indians, Padres, and Nationals. There are a lot of fringe teams with great starters, but they are likely to hold on to those players until the end of the month when the have to make the decision to go for it or not.
My second reason is this. Ruben is in no hurry just purely based on the fact that there currently is no pressure. We have all read about how the Phillies starters have the worst ERA in the NL. Over the last two weeks (13 Games), Phillies starter have thrown 79.1 innings. That averages out to just over 6 innings per start. Phillies starters have only surrendered 34 runs in that span. That is under 3 runs per game with an ERA of 3.85. So the starters have taken some pressure off of Ruben & Co. for now. I have no doubt that the Phillies will be working the phones scouring the field up until the deadline has come and gone for that one starter. That is the only pressing need that HAS to be done before the end of the month. A reliever and some bench bats could be found in August.