A year ago at this time, the Phillies’ telephone lines were crackling with activity as the club spent July taking trade offers for Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon, Chase Utley and Ben Revere.
There does not figure to be as much action this July. Quite simply, the Phillies don’t have a player with the value of Hamels on the market and they are not looking to unload any onerous contracts. (Well, they’ve been looking to move Ryan Howard and at least part of his contract for months, but there has been no interest.)
The Phillies’ most likely trade candidates are reliever Jeanmar Gomez, who is having a career season, utility man Andres Blanco and veteran starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson. Outfielders Cody Asche and Peter Bourjos could be interesting possibilities if they continue recent hot streaks.
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General manager Matt Klentak said the club was “still in a feeling-out phase,” as it prepared for the trade deadline, which falls on Aug. 1.
“It’s still early July,” Klentak said Tuesday. “We’re talking to other teams fairly frequently, but nothing is hot right now. I don’t know if we’ll be super active. We’ll see. We certainly have players that other teams like, but I also like the fact that they’re helping contribute to this team. We’re in a good stretch right now and we don’t really want to pull the rug out. We’ll just have to wait and see. We have almost 30 days. It’s a long time.”
The Phillies won’t give away a player. If they deal, it would be for talent that they believe would inch the rebuild forward.
“A lot of trades don't take place until hours leading up to the deadline,” Klentak said. “And I don't know why 2016 would be different than that.”