There was a time -- as recently as two years ago, in fact -- when the Phillies could have had their pick at better than half of the available hitters on the market, thanks to a robust farm system that was rife with both pitching and hitting talent.
And it was that farm system -- and the willingness to pull the trigger on trades -- that landed the Phillies the likes of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Joe Blanton, Brad Lidge and Hunter Pence during their recent run of five consecutive division titles. Even though we can argue about how necessary each of those trades were, the Phillies nonetheless were successful in fielding a series of good teams thanks to their homegrown talent being shipped out elsewhere.
But I can't help but wonder if Ruben Amaro Jr. would love to un-ring one or two of those bells in light of the fact that Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton is reportedly available. After trading half of their team to the Toronto Blue Jays last month, the Fish are reportedly taking offers for young outfielder.
It goes without saying that he'd be a great fit on the Phillies -- he'd be a great fit on any team, actually -- since they are in need of young, right-handed power-hitting corner outfielders. Stanton certainly fits that bill: He's 23 years old, he hits from the right side, and he clobbered 37 homers in 2012 and had a league-leading .608 slugging percentage.
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With so many of the starters over the age of 30, and without any young sluggers in the immediate pipeline (besides Darin Ruf and Dom Brown), Stanton would fill that power void nicely, and he would revitalize an offense that is getting a bit long in the tooth.
Unfortunately, the Phillies don't have the pieces to trade for him. Unless the Marlins really undervalue Stanton, or if Amaro could somehow reverse the Hunter Pence and Roy Oswalt trades, it would take nothing short of a miracle for the Phillies to pull off this trade. That's a shame, too, because I can think of worse things than watching Stanton blast 500-foot homers in South Philly on summer nights for the Phils rather than the Fish.
I guess what I'm saying is this: No pressure, Darin Ruf.