Media rights summary:
  • Image usa-clifflee-colehamels-jonathanpapelbon-phillies.png cannot be shared with the network.

Syndication Flag: FALSE
Linking Flag: FALSE
Content is published: TRUE
Original Source is empty: TRUE
Article may be syndicated: No
Article may be linked: No
The final Phillies trade tracker: Will anyone go?
Share This Post

The trade deadline is tomorrow at 4 p.m. and the Phillies still haven't made a single move. Ruben Amaro Jr. apparently has not found offers that move the needle enough to justify dealing away veterans with value, either because contenders have filled their needs elsewhere or because of the length, cost and complications of most Phillies' contracts.

Let's take a look, one by one, at the rising and falling trade value of certain Phils. The tradability scales below (1 to 10, with 1 being an impossible deal) are based on how easy a move would be for the Phillies to make before Thursday's 4 p.m. deadline:

Cole Hamels
His trade value has never been and will probably never be higher. Hamels pitched another gem Tuesday night, shutting the Mets out for eight innings to lower his ERA to a career-best 2.55.

Hamels has a 1.90 ERA over his last 16 starts. This 11-week stretch has been the best of his career during the regular season. His opponents have hit .207 and Hamels has struck out 119 batters in 113 2/3 innings during that stretch, averaging 7.1 innings per start.

There is reported interest in Hamels from the Dodgers, but keep an eye on the Cardinals as well. No, St. Louis does not often trade prospects for high-priced veterans, but the cost certainty with Hamels could attract St. Louis, especially if it comes at the expense of the Dodgers landing the ace lefty.

At 30 years old, Hamels is in his prime. He's owed about $100 million for the duration of his deal, but he could potentially help a contender to six consecutive playoff runs.

The Phillies seem to want at least three top prospects for Hamels. We explained the perfect fit he'd be in L.A. earlier this week.

Tradability scale: 8 (would be a 10 if teams weren't so unwilling to part with top prospects these days)

Cliff Lee
Made two poor starts after returning from a two-month stint on the DL. Has allowed 21 hits in his last 10 2/3 innings and has the highest opponents' batting average in the NL at .309.

Lee is still a pitcher to believe in, and he'll surely shake off the rust and turn this around. But if the Phillies dealt him now, they'd be selling low. No point in trading him just to trade him.

Lee could be involved in an August trade and the pitching-needy Yankees stick out as a suitor, whether they place a waiver claim on him or simply wait for him to clear waivers.

Tradability: 1

Jonathan Papelbon
Papelbon's 17-team no-trade clause is the perfect symbol of the errors Amaro has made over the last three or four years.

The Phils made Papelbon an extremely generous offer before 2012 and he signed on the dotted line for $50 million over four years. It was the largest contract in baseball history for a closer. Was any other team going to offer that deal? Almost certainly not. So was the 17-team no-trade clause completely necessary? Would Papelbon and his agent have walked away if not for its inclusion?

That NTC is killing the Phillies right now because Papelbon won't waive it to be a setup man. And the contenders that needed closers the most, the Angels and Tigers, filled those voids with Huston Street and Joakim Soria.

At this point, the only contenders that could use a Papelbon are the Giants, Dodgers and Orioles. San Francisco and Baltimore have bigger needs. L.A. might be the team, but then the Dodgers would have to make Kenley Jansen, an elite closer, the setup man.

Tradability: 3

Marlon Byrd
Have the Mariners moved on? They acquired DH Kendrys Morales from the Twins last week and have been pursuing Rockies outfielder Drew Stubbs, according to reports.

Seattle doesn't seem keen on paying the price the Phillies have laid out for Byrd, who has been one of the most consistently productive power hitters in the game this year.

Byrd has had a strong 25-game stretch leading into the deadline, hitting .295 with an .857 OPS, three doubles, seven homers and 14 RBIs. He's also played above-average defense in right field.

The problem the Phils face is that teams will be reluctant to give up difference-making young talent for a 36-year-old outfielder who has a third-year vesting option on his contract, no matter how valuable he has been this season. Fair value in a trade will be hard to come by.

Another factor that has prevented a trade so far is poor play of two teams who have interest in the Phils' rightfielder. The Royals are just a game over .500 and the Reds have lost eight of 10 to fall to 53-53.

Tradability: 6

A.J. Burnett
If Burnett didn't have such a complicated second-year option on his contract he'd probably have been dealt already.

Burnett has a $15 million mutual option for 2015. Both sides have to agree for him to receive that salary. If the club declines, Burnett has a $7.5 million player option which can increase based on starts made this year. If Burnett makes 24 starts, the player option rises to $8.5 million, then $10 million at 27 starts, $11.75 million at 30 starts and $12.75 million at 32 starts.

Burnett has already made 23 starts and is on pace to make his full complement. He's pitched through an inguinal hernia and the dollar signs surely have something to do with that decision.

Burnett's value has taken a hit over the last two weeks as he's had a six-run and a seven-run game. Still, he's a solid mid-tier starting pitching option for the teams not rich enough to acquire Hamels, Jon Lester or David Price.

Tradability: 5

Chase Utley
Not going anywhere, though his value is sky high.

Tradability: 10, but the Phillies won't even listen unless they're blown away by an offer

Antonio Bastardo
It's hard to believe a team would trade anything meaningful for Bastardo. The best bet might be a Single A reliever and salary relief for the Phils.

Bastardo is owed about $700,000 the rest of the season. Getting out of that remaining portion of his 2014 salary would help offset the attendance decline at Citizens Bank Park.

Next season is Bastardo's final arbitration year. He'll likely find a salary in the $3 milliion to $3.5 million range.

But there are better relievers on the market -- Boston lefty Andrew Miller is much better than Bastardo, for example -- and Bastardo has struggled lately, allowing five runs and two homers over his last 1 1/3 innings.

Maybe the Pirates, maybe the Reds, maybe the Braves.

Don't expect a big return, though.

Tradability: 7, just because lefties are always in demand