Much time has passed since my last post. During this hiatus the Phils have lost two important starting position players and crept above .500 into second place in the generally mediocre NL East.
An item on ESPN's web site caught my attention the other day: a listing of the top 50 MLB prospects. Now, we all know these lists and four dollars will buy you a large coffee (or whatever they call them) at Starbucks (if you have high standards about lists and low standards about coffee), but it is worth noting only one Phillies' prospect, pitcher Jesse Biddle, makes the list. The Phils have other promising prospects but the reality is they traded away most of the best ones to try and win it all the last two years.
The Phillies have to begin rebuilding. Any foolish notions of post-season success this year must be abandoned. GM Ruben Amaro and the rest of the Phils' alleged brain trust don't seem so inclined. They think the team can catch the Braves for the NL East crown or at least secure a Wild Card spot.
The Phils have plenty of players on their 25-man roster who would bring good returns. Now is the time to cash in on these players. Some, such as Chase Utley, won't be re-signed here. Others, such as Michael Young, play positions at which the Phils do have good prospects on the way up. Still others like Jonathan Papelbon and Cliff Lee can bring much needed help down the road.
The alternative to selling is to stand pat or, worse, buy at the trade deadline. Doing so will ultimately prolong the Phils' years in the wilderness.