Traded Hunter Pence (OF) to Giants for Nate Schierholtz (OF), Tommy Joseph (C), Seth Rosin (P)
Schierholtz is a utility guy, but he can start in the outfield for Philadelphia if needed, and he's had some success in Citizens Bank Park. He's also under team control for two years and he's filthy cheap. Joseph's one of the top prospects in the Giants organization but was blocked by Buster Posey and Hector Sanchez, barring a position switch (he could become a first baseman). If he reaches his potential -- 25 homers? -- he could fill in for Ryan Howard or even save the Phils from making a ridiculous contract offer to Carlos Ruiz, who is awesome, but quite expensive. Rosin could be a back-end guy down the road, according to Giants writers. The Phils got some good value and were able to cut the $12 to $15 million Pence would've been owed in 2013 off the payroll. It hurts them offensively, but they can fill the void. I'd give this a higher grade except that when you take a look at the prospects the Phils gave up in order to get Pence in 2011, well, this looks like more of a nightmare. Grade: B
Traded Shane Victorino (OF) to Dodgers for Josh Lindblom (P) and Ethan Martin (P)
Not a fantastic haul for the "Flyin' Hawaiian." The Phils need pitching depth and pitching youth and the Dodgers weren't going to give up an insane haul for a guy who's a free agent after this year. But if Philly had held onto him and he'd walked in free agency they could've gotten a compensatory pick. Pretty sure that pick would have been more valuable than Lindblom and Martin. The good news is that Dominic Brown gets called up and he can give Phils fans hope if he rakes the rest of the season.
Did not trade Joe Blanton (P) or Juan Pierre (OF)
Why not? I know the Phillies technically have to play out the string and not have a complete fire-sale, but they kind of did that already, didn't they? Swing these guys for something, especially when you've got the almost-never-trading-for-vets-late-in-the-season Orioles looking to acquire Blanton.
I like that the Phils made some moves, because trying to hold on at this point and be buyers and/or make a run at the playoffs would be a delusional move. They needed to trade these guys to free up some cash, and they kept their pitching core -- Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels -- intact (at least for now). The issue is going to be run production going forward, but that was the problem to begin with. At least the Phils moved some guys in order to acquire talent that could beef up the bullpen down the road and/or contribute at a minimal cost.
It'd be nicer to see the Phils get bigger prospects back in return, but it's hard to pull off these days because of how closely organizations value their high-level minor-league talent.