Trade winds blowing in
If they had a remote control to operate the baseball season, they would fast forward to July 31. "OK, who'd we get??"
The trade market finally showed some signs of life Wednesday. First, the White Sox and Blue Jays made a trade involving oft-traveled right-hander Edwin Jackson. And then St. Louis got involved and made Jackeson even more oft-traveled.
The bigger move came down a couple of hours later: just as Giants players began arriving to Citizens Bank Park, they learned their team make the first big move for a bat among NL contenders, acquiring Carlos Beltran from the Mets.
Your move, Rube?
Phils GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is not discussing trades, which is no different than the last two years at the deadline. Could Ruben be moving more aggressively toward acquiring the apple of his eye this summer, Houston's Hunter Pence?
It's definitely possible.
But let's look at this briefly from the other team's perspective: if you're Houston, why deal your top player now if you can't get the player you want most (Domonic Brown)?
It's actually eerily reminiscent of the Phillies-Blue Jays talks exactly two years ago. The Phillies really, really wanted Roy Halladay. The Jays wanted Domonic Brown, Kyle Drabek and Anthony Gose.
No deal. The Jays didn't HAVE to make a move at the time. So they waited. Eventually they got 2/3 of those players.
So from Houston's perspective, they might be best served by waiting. Why simply settle for what they can get now when the market for teams interested would be bigger in the winter anyway?
Don't think the Phillies don't realize this, however. The Beltran move and the fact that Houston does not HAVE to move Pence now might mean the Phils could step up their pursuit.
Just read the words of newly enshrined Hall of Famer Pat Gillick this afternoon:
Gillick was asked about trade deadline strategy. His answer was pretty revealing when interpreted while looking at Phillies current agenda:
"You have to evaluate what your needs are, what this player will do for your club, you take it all into consideration," Gillick said. "Probably most of the time, with a club like ours, you have to be prepared to overpay a little bit. Sometimes, to get what you want, you have to overpay a bit."