Because of their sub-.500 record and veteran-laden roster, the Phillies are a very popular team these days. They have myriad players that other teams reportedly want.
And the latest player to be involved in a rumor is third baseman Placido Polanco, whom the Orioles have reportedly contacted the Phillies about.
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the O's "have had contact" with the Phils about Polanco, along with the Padres about Chase Headley and the Cubs about Bryan LaHair, "among others."
Polanco serves as an interesting Catch-22 type of fit for the Orioles. On one hand, he's not very good at hitting the ball. Though he was an All-Star in 2011, the 36-year-old is hitting just .255/.300/.628 this season. It would be an insult to modesty to call that modest.
However, because Polanco's not hitting the ball well (particularly in July -- he has six hits in 45 at bats) and because he's older, he won't cost much for the Orioles.
Additionally, Connolly points out that Polanco could play second or third base for the Orioles, and he could end up hitting as high as second in the lineup. Though his bat has struggled, he'd actually be a nice contrast with a lineup that features big whiffers like Mark Reynolds and Chris Davis.
Polanco's got a $1 million buyout next season and is owed about $3 million remaining on his contract this year; if the O's decide they want to upgrade their infield, he'd be the best-possible fit, economically speaking.
And then there's this: Dan Duquette and Ruben Amaro Jr. have already struck a deal this season, with Philly sending Jim Thome to Baltimore in exchange for prospects.
The Phils didn't get much in return for Thome from the O's, and giving up Polanco isn't going to do anything crazy like get Dylan Bundy or Manny Machado in return. But he's good enough on defense and could end up improving offensively enough to warrant Baltimore taking a gamble on him at a fairly low cost.
If Philly's selling -- and we'll know soon whether or not that's the case -- it's hard to imagine them not moving Polanco, given his age, offensive capabilities and the money it would save.