The Philadelphia Phillies currently sit in last place in the NL East despite having the highest payroll in the division. Their $180 million allotment is over $40 million more than the second-most expensive NL East team, the Nationals.
So, with all that in mind, it appears the Phillies may be ready to break out the dynamite. According to a CSN Philly report, it could be time for a new direction.
Here is what CSN's Jim Salisbury wrote on Monday:
"The Phils play 20 games in the next 20 days, a sizable chunk of baseball that on top of the 41 games the team has already played, could give upper management the read it needs in determining whether to keep the club together and hope it can play through its flaws and earn a playoff berth or break it up through a series of trades that would signal a retooling effort."
Salisbury says the Phillies are looking ahead with the July 31 trade deadline in mind. If they are still sitting in the basement of the NL East come mid-June, they could start selling off pieces.
Exactly who they will trade is unclear, but you can imagine they will try to shop some of their more expensive assets. That, however, could be very difficult.
Jimmy Rollins has been mentioned in trade rumors, but he would have to waive his 10/5 rights to allow a deal. Cliff Lee has long been linked to the trade block, but he is making $25 million both this year and next. Ryan Howard is owed $50 million through 2015 and 2016, and Jonathan Papelbon will make $13 million next season.
Will the Phillies break it up? It looks like we'll find out pretty soon.