Going into the offseason, all Phillies fans knew that a complete rebuild has been 2 years, but fans went into the offseason thinking that GM Ruben Amaro Jr. would think the Phillies still have a chance at making the playoffs when they clearly do not just like he has in recent years. Amaro finally gained some sense and decided to start the fire sale, making two trades.
The Phillies dealt one of the Core Four in long time shortstop Jimmy Rollins to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The players that the Phillies have received have not been announced as of yet but the rumor is that it is 2 minor league pitchers will be coming to Philly in return. Rollins is the first domino to fall in the Phillies starting the newest era. Rollins had an illustrious 15 seasons with the Phillies as he started in the dark days of the late 90s to the improvement of the early 2000s to the breakthrough success from 2007-2011 and to the downfall from 2012-2014. Rollins was 1st in hits with 2,306, 2nd in games played 3,655, 1st in steals with 453, and 2nd in extra base hits with 806 to name a few accolades J-Roll has accomplished as one of the great Phillies of all time.
Left handed reliever Antonio Bastardo was also dealt on Wednesday to the Pittsburgh Pirates for lefty minor league pitcher Joely Rodriguez. Bastardo has been with the Phils’ for 10 years has a record of 20-18 with a 3.72 ERA in 275 appearances and all of these with the Phillies. Joely Rodriguez is 23 years old and just finished his first at Double-A; he went 6-11 with a 4.84 ERA in 30 games and 21 of which were starts. The Bastardo move makes sense as he has struggled the past few years and the Phillies want to give opportunities to their younger guys in the pen and I feel that Jonathan Papelbon should be on the move soon as contenders will be looking for a closer. Everyone desperately hopes Papelbon is the next piece on the trading block, unfortunately his name has yet to be mentioned.
Phillies ace Cole Hamels has been thrown in the rumor mill to get traded from the beginning of the offseason but the rumors have become more serious after left handed pitcher Jon Lester signed with the Chicago Cubs for 6 years and $155 million and opened up the floodgates for the pitchers market. The best case scenario was that Lester signed with the San Francisco Giants and then the Phils’ were able to go back and forth with the Cubs and Boston Red Sox to trade Hamels.
Hamels is being linked to possibly going to the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Phillies are wanting to get a game breaking prospect and two players the Phillies could want are outfielder Joc Pederson and infielder Corey Seager. The Dodgers seem reluctant to give up ether player. The Red Sox seem like the most likely landing spot for Hamels as they are desperate for starting pitching. The Phillies want game breaking prospects and the Red Sox have plenty of them in catcher Blake Swihart, pitcher Henry Owens, outfielder/second baseman Mookie Betts, and infielder Xander Bogaerts. Similar to the Dodgers, the Red Sox are reluctant to give up any of these and the Phillies are eying Swihart.
It should be an interesting end to the Winter Meetings and rest of the offseason.
The Phillies will receive pitchers Zach Eflin and Tom Windle from the Dodgers in exchange for Jimmy Rollins. Eflin was trraded to the Dodgers on Wednesday for Matt Kemp and then flipped to the Phillies.
Eflin has a 3.41 ERA in 50 minor-league games (49 starts). He has walked just 2.3 batters per nine innings in his pro career, and in 2014 spent his age-20 season with the Padres’ High A affiliate.
Windle, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound left-hander, was a second-round pick by the Dodgers in 2013. In 26 games (25 starts) with Class A Rancho Cucamonga in 2014, Windle went 12-8 with a 4.26 ERA in 139 1/3 innings with 111 strikeouts and 44 walks. He is 22. (CSNPhilly.com)
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