Will Shane Victorino be the first main piece of the Philadelphia Phillies to be traded?
It’s looking more and more like that is going to be the case.
Early on Monday, FOXsports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reported that one high-ranking executive expected Victorino to be the first ‘big name’ to be traded before the July 31st deadline.
Yes, this executive thinks that the 31-year-old center fielder will be dealt pretty soon, before the likes of Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Zack Greinke, Justin Upton, Carlos Quentin, Josh Willingham or Francisco Liriano. Considering the recent reports about the Cubs wanting to trade Dempster this very week, a deal involving Victorino would have to be right on the horizon for the executive’s theory to be true.
Regardless of when it happens, most Philly pundits fully expect Victorino to be traded sometime within the next two weeks. It’s not rocket science when one thinks about it. Victorino, who is making $9.5M in the last year of his three-year deal, is seeking a new five-year contract north of $12M per year. Considering the Phillies’ current financial situation, and the fact that the team is trying to sign someone much more important to its future success in Cole Hamels, there just isn’t enough money left in Citizen's Bank to ink the Flyin’ Hawaiian.
Teams that have been linked to the trade talks include the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the San Francisco Giants, the Texas Rangers and the Miami Marlins. Oddly enough, all but one is a National League team. Who it will be is anyone’s guess, but the Phils’ six-game home stand beginning on Friday could be Victorino’s last in South Philadelphia.
Later the same day, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reported that the Dodgers have shown some interest in Jimmy Rollins. He wrote that Rollins is part of a long list of players the Dodgers are looking at and may be the most intriguing. However, it will all come down to Rollins. As a 10-5 player (ten years in the bigs, five with the same team), he has the luxury of a full no-trade clause and can choose whether or not to accept any deal.
Meanwhile, other reports have surfaced about the Phillies putting together a substantial offer for Hamels. It is said that the Phils have no problem giving Hamels a contract much like they did to Cliff Lee (five-years, $120M). Others believe the Phillies will have to do at least as good as Johan Santana’s six-year, $137.5M deal in order to keep him away from free agency.
Needless to say, the next two weeks figure to be pretty interesting for the Phillies, their management and their fan base.