Posted by Alex Lee, Wed, March 13, 2013 08:16 AM Comments: 0
From an injury standpoint, this spring has gone about as well as the Phillies could have hoped (except for Roy Halladay getting crushed on Tuesday by the Tigers). After a disastrous 2012, optimism has begun to regenerate throughout the Delaware Valley and beyond, with a handful of national baseball pundits adjusting their previously underwhelming expectations for this team accordingly. The key word there is some.
Perhaps by now you’ve read Jonah Keri’s scathing take on the Phillies from Grantland.com – titled “Blow Up the Phillies!” – which from a timing standpoint, almost seems like an intentional attempt at pouring cold water over the collective hopes of Phillies faithful. Keri takes a big-picture look at the Phillies, but his question basically boils down to the following:
“Four months from now, if Philly appears on its way to another mediocre season, should the team cash in their biggest trade chips for younger players who could help build a winning team for 2014 and beyond?”
Keri’s answer to that question is an emphatic yes – so much so that he implies that, in Ruben Amaro Jr.’s shoes, he would even consider moving the non-expiring contracts of Jimmy Rollins and Cliff Lee in addition to Halladay and Chase Utley, who will be free agents after this season.
Essentially, should the Phillies disappoint, Keri is advocating a July fire sale – not a retool, but a rebuild, citing the age of the team’s core and a dearth of near-ready prospects as the reasons why. Using historical examples, he says any other decision could be catastrophic for the competitive future of the team. In doing so, Keri is undoubtedly a little harsh on the Phils. But is he wrong? The answer, as usual, is a little complicated.