Yep, it's June 9 and we're already here. Barring a miracle, the most intriguing part of the final four months of the Phillies' season is what they will do leading up to the trade deadline. Alas, between now and then, we'll regularly evaluate the market for the Phils' numerous tradable assets.
Today, we'll look at Phils position players who have a good chance to be dealt (Ryan Howard doesn't). Later in the week we'll look at the pitching staff.
2014 salary: $15M
Contract after 2014: $10M in 2015; trio of $15M vesting options from 2016-18
With Cliff Lee sidelined, Utley provides the Phillies the best chance at replenishing a barren farm system. He's playing at an MVP level at a premium position and has a manageable contract moving forward.
So long as Utley is willing to waive his 10-and-5 rights and accept a deal, the Phillies must move him to begin the rebuild, or retool, or whatever you'd like to call it.
Utley may end up being the best bat on a seller's market. At the moment, only six teams appear to be nearing sell mode: the Phillies, Cubs, Padres, Diamondbacks, Astros and Rays. And none of those teams will be shopping a hitter the caliber of Utley.
Several contenders have received little to no production from second base, making Utley an even more appealing trade chip. In terms of OPS, the A's rank 29th, the Cardinals are 28th, the Braves are 27th, the Giants are 25th, the Orioles are 24th, the Rangers are 22nd, the Rockies are 20th and the Blue Jays are 18th.
Considering a few of those teams are competing with one another for a playoff berth, this could turn into a bidding war. The Phillies absolutely cannot afford to whiff on the return for Utley. Doing so would set the organization back as much as the Hunter Pence trade of 2012 (much more on that here) and the Lee trade in December 2009.
Utley gets a 9 on the tradability scale, our subjective rating of how realistic it is for a deal to be made.
2014 salary: $11M
Contract after 2014: $11M option in 2015 vests with fewer than 200 more plate appearances
Rollins made clear he did not wish to waive his no-trade rights before breaking the Phillies' all-time hits record. He's five knocks away from doing so.
He also indicated to CSN Phillies insider Jim Salisbury earlier this year that he may reconsider his stance once he surpasses Mike Schmidt.
Rollins would be another appealing piece for a contender. He's taken more pitches than ever before, his power has resurfaced and he is still playing elite defense at shortstop.
The Tigers desperately need a shortstop. The Yankees could use one if Derek Jeter goes down at any point; same for the Blue Jays with the oft-injured Jose Reyes. The Athletics have a slumping Jed Lowrie probably playing out of position. And, as you hear often this time of year, Jimmy is from the Bay Area ...
Tradability scale: 7.5
Age: 35 (noticing a trend?)
2014 salary: $8.5M
Contract after 2014: Two years, $17 million; $4.5M club option for 2017 ($500,000 buyout)
The Phillies have cornered the market on productive 35-year-old players.
Ruiz this season is hitting .282 with a .393 on-base percentage -- impressive numbers, especially for a catcher.
His contract runs two more years after 2014, but it's a manageable deal. Most teams with money would pay $8.5 million per year for two years to acquire a catcher who works the count, has gap power and can handle a pitching staff as well any backstop in baseball.
Ruiz would be a fit with the Dodgers, Rangers and Orioles. Don't count out the Red Sox, either. They wanted Ruiz badly before he re-signed with the Phils and they were forced to settle for A.J. Pierzynski.
Tradability scale: 5
2014 salary: $8M
Contract after 2014: $8M in 2015, $8M club option in 2016
Byrd is in a slump but has been mostly productive this season, playing above-average defense in right field and slugging .466.
If the market favors sellers as much as it would appear, Byrd may be one of the best available outfielders in a trade.
Last August, the Mets acquired reliever Vic Black -- a former first-round pick who has pitched very well this season, recently against the Phillies -- and minor-league infielder Dilson Herrera.
The Phillies should look for a similar package and may get it based on how inexpensive Byrd is and how consistent he's been from a power standpoint for over a year now.
The Red Sox have gotten little out of their outfielders, and the Athletics and Angels could platoon Byrd with the underproductive Josh Reddick and Raul Ibanez.
Tradability scale: 6.5
John Mayberry Jr.
2014 salary: $1.5875M
Contract after 2014: Two years of arbitration eligibility
Don't laugh. Mayberry is 7 for 14 with three homers and 11 RBIs this season as a pinch-hitter, and even if that screams "small sample size" above all else, it's still a skill other teams will covet when looking for bench help.
Mayberry has experience coming off the bench and stepping to the plate cold, which is not an easy task.
Combine that with the Phils' recent desire to move Mayberry, and a minor deal could be completed. Don't expect a ton in return, though.
The Giants' and Braves' pinch-hitters have been lousy, and both teams could use a slight upgrade at fourth outfielder.
Tradability scale: 5