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Which Phillies will stay and who could be traded at the deadline?


As the Phillies return from the All-Star break looking to make a strong second half run, they essentially have nine games to stay in contention or Ruben Amaro Jr. will most likely start fielding (and perhaps accepting) offers from inquiring teams about some of his players. While the most serious competition would seem to come from the Cardinals and Tigers (both World Series contenders), the Mets have Zach Wheeler and All-Star Game starter Matt Harvey during the last two games of the Phightins’ series at Citi Field.

 Photo: Kathy Willen/AP

So who could be on the block for the Phillies. Let’s take a look as we make our predictions of who remains in pinstripes, and who could be moving on.


 Chase Utley- Utley is not the Utley of old and you never know the day when his knees could eventually just give out on him. Utley’s reckless style of play is what unfortunately decreased his overall career productivity. A free agent next year, a bevy of teams will most likely be inquiring about him.


The day Utley leaves town will be more dramatic than Mike Schmidt retiring and as equivalent as Dr. J’s swan song. He is loved THAT much in Philadelphia. Although he wouldn’t be opposed to trading Utley, Amaro considers Utley to be a Phillie for life, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen.


 Verdict: STAYS



Jimmy Rollins- It’s no secret that Rollins is in decline. He won’t come close to reaching 23 home runs like he did last year (he currently has just four) or stolen bases (only nine compared to last year’s total of 30).  Now in his 13th full season in the majors, Rollins would have to waive his full no-trade clause if the Phillies were to deal him. Rollins’ experience down the stretch outweigh his lesser points, so teams could ask for him as the weeks go on.  Although he once expressed his desire to play close to his home on the west coast, Jed Lowrie is putting up better numbers for the A’s than Rollins is for the Phillies, and the San Francisco Giants are seemingly going nowhere, so that’s a wash.  Interesting note: Rollins is just 117 hits away from eclipsing Mike Schmidt as the Phillies’ all-time leader in hits.


 Verdict: STAYS for now

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Cliff Lee- You know the story by now. Lee took less money to play in Philly and that’s where he allegedly wants to stay. However, it appears that Ruben Amaro might’ve rocked the boat with Lee several weeks back when he was drilling starter Jonathan Pettibone with peanuts while being interviewed on television. Did you see Lee’s death stare at the All-Star Game introductions? Rumor has it that may have been a swipe at Amaro, but that really can’t be confirmed.


Keep in mind that Lee has two years left on his contract with a pretty hefty price tag. Chances are Amaro would have to be blown out of the water to move Lee. Either that, or Lee could go into his office and just stare him down.

Verdict: STAYS


Delmon Young- You haven’t heard of any real problems with the way Young has behaved this season. He’s had some nice hits for the Phils, but overall hasn’t been able to get into a consistent groove. To be fair, Young missed some time early and might be still trying to find his stroke, but it is July. I don’t doubt he’s trying and Young has expressed his desire to stay in Philly beyond this year. However, a contending team might inquire about his bat and that could be all it takes for Amaro to pull the trigger.


Verdict: GOES



Jonathan Papelbon- Normally I would say yes, but the Tigers want him bad, but they might not ask enough for him and the Phillies don’t want to readily give Papelbon away. Moreover, as inconsistent as Papelbon has been over the last month, who exactly would close games for this team? The bullpen is horrendous as it is already.


Verdict: STAYS


Michael Young- Young is a possible future Hall of Famer and an all-around class guy: both reasons why teams want him for the stretch drive. While I’m not crazy about most likely platooning Kevin Frandsen and Triple-A prospect Cody Asche, chances are Young will be gone by July 31st if the Phillies lay an egg after the break. Just call it a hunch that he’ll would most likely go to the Red Sox.


Verdict: GOES



Carlos Ruiz- The more this season goes on, the more it looks like free agent to be Ruiz might not be resigned by the Phillies next season (as stated in my previous article). The Yankees are the team usually rumored to be in the running for his services. Do you have faith in Erik Kratz to handle pitching staff for the final two months of the season if Chooch is dealt?


Verdict: GOES



Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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Utley photo: Kathy Willens/AP