Please Don’t Trade For Chase Headley

We don’t disagree with each other much here at Crashburn Alley. It’s nice most of the time, because we get along much better and agreeing with each other makes us feel smart. I bring this up because, for the first time in ages, I don’t agree with something Bill said.

Earlier today, our master and commander argued that, now that Cole Hamels has been re-signed, the Phillies should turn their attention to third base. Placido Polanco ticks four boxes–old, injury-prone, a free-agent-to-be and of declining effectiveness–that don’t make him an enticing prospect going forward. The Phillies don’t have an in-house option coming up through the minors or currently on the major league roster (Ty Wigginton can hit some but is scarcely better in the field than you or I, and Mike Fontenot, while a capable fifth infielder, isn’t really good enough at anything to warrant 600 plate appearances).

So with no incumbent and no credible heir in the organization, the Phillies will almost certainly have to look outside the organization for a solution  at third, and, friends, it does not look good.

I think Bill is completely right about all that. I just don’t want that external solution to be Chase Headley.

We’re in something of a dead period for offensive production among infielders, and third base was hit particularly hard. In the past five years, some of the best young third basemen (Ryan Braun and Alex Gordon) couldn’t hack it defensively and moved to the outfield. Others (Pedro Alvarez and Brett Lawrie) are undergoing growing pains. Alex Rodriguez is getting older (and odder), and the top tier (Ryan Zimmerman, David Wright and Evan Longoria) have alternately had trouble staying on the field.

Which makes someone like Headley immensely valuable. He’s a switch hitter who posted a .374 OBP last year and a .361 mark so far this season, which would have been second on the Phillies this season. He’s solid defensively, posting an 8.4 UZR/150 for his career at third base, and he’s on the right side of 30 with two more years of arbitration left.

So why wouldn’t the Phillies want him? He’d be a massive upgrade over Polanco and a valuable contributor to a lineup that could surely use his bat. In a vacuum, I’d just as soon the Phillies have Headley as anyone. But we don’t live in a vacuum, and to trade for Headley would represent the same kind of mistake the Phillies made in trading for Hunter Pence a year ago, and in re-signing Ryan Howard in 2010: paying a superstar’s price for a good player.

Headley, as Bill said, is about a 3-WAR player. That’s a solid starter. But that number is based in part on massive swings in his UZR, from 16.5 in 2009 to -2.9 last year. I’m confident that Headley can hack it at third, but not that he’s an excellent or even a good defender. This UZR fluctuation has had the same effect on Headley’s career fWAR that BABIP has had on Hunter Pence’s offensive production: when it’s up it’s up, and when it’s down it’s down. But let’s stipulate that when it’s only halfway up, it’s neither up nor down. Headley is a 3-WAR player.

If that’s the case, what would the Phillies pay for Headley? A lot. The Padres can wait to trade Headley, and because the third base offerings are so bad leaguewide, the Phillies are one of perhaps a dozen teams with designs on a playoff spot in the next 18 months and a dire need for a third baseman. It’s a seller’s market, and even if it were wise to part with multiple top prospects (most likely two or more of Larry Greene, Trevor May, Jesse Biddle or more) for Headley, the Phillies would be hard-pressed to match the offers of teams with deeper farm systems. I like Headley’s game, but is it really worth it for the Phillies to gut a weak farm system for, essentially, a good regular? I’ve seen this movie. It doesn’t end well. Someone will pay an insane price for Headley, and I would just as soon it not be the Phillies.

But let’s say they traded for Headley anyway. He’s 28 years old, and in line for two sizable arbitration paydays. That’s only young and cheap when compared to the rest of the Phillies. Headley is entering what is likely the last couple years of his prime and could cost in excess of $15 million for those last two years. Any Headley trade would best be paired with an immediate contract extension to buy out those remaining arbitration years and maybe a year or two of free agency, or else he, like Pence, will soon become very expensive and leave.

So my objection to Headley is not so much an objection with his play, but with how much it would cost in prospects to acquire him and how much it would cost in cash to keep him.

Finally, if the Phillies trade for Headley, say, tomorrow, and hang on to Pence and Shane Victorino, they’ll have the frattiest lineup of all time. They could, on days where Carlos Ruiz rests, field a starting nine of Shane, Chase, Chase, Ryan, Hunter, Jimmy, Laynce, Erik and Cole. That’s not a baseball team. That’s next fall’s rush class at the Wake Forest chapter of Sig Ep. They’d have to change everyone’s walk-up music to “Crazy Game of Poker” by O.A.R. and change the uniform to a pink polo shirt, khaki shorts and boat shoes. They’d have to outlaw any beer other than Natty Light at the CBP concessions stands. But the tailgating would probably be a little better-organized and we’d get t-shirts with big pictures and pithy slogans on the back for every game. So maybe fielding a team of frat boys wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

Probably not important from a baseball perspective, but worth noting nonetheless.

Anyway, Bill’s right–the Phillies need a third baseman going forward. It just shouldn’t be Chase Headley.

Leave a Reply

*

49 comments

  1. nehi

    July 25, 2012 09:37 PM

    well, who should they get than? Hanley? what other options are out there?

  2. Drake

    July 25, 2012 09:39 PM

    I’d rather see the Phillies give the Rangers any and every big league player they want for Olt. Don’t see anything happening there though.

  3. Bill Baer

    July 25, 2012 09:39 PM

    I’d be much more willing to part with a Trevor May or Jesse Biddle for a third baseman than for a right fielder, however. The RF would have to be all kinds of good (better than Hunter Pence, for instance) to justify such a deal.

  4. Michael Baumann

    July 25, 2012 10:04 PM

    Yes. I, too, would rather pay big for a third baseman than an outfielder. But frankly, I’d just as soon try to get someone that every team in the league isn’t chasing. Failing that, just pick up a scrap heap guy to keep the seat warm until a better option presents itself.

  5. T. Martin

    July 25, 2012 10:11 PM

    Okay, so because the Phils overpaid for Pence you can argue that they shouldn’t make the same mistake twice. That’s a reasonable argument.

    But the difference between overpaying for a third baseman vs overpaying for a RF is that a RF with solid production is much more easily replaced. Whereas 3B is a position of quality players that are few and far between.

    So if the Phillies can swing a deal for Headley and solidify their infield for the rest of this year and next year and add another player to the deal like Will Venable or Houston Street for a package of 3-4 prospects. it does make some sense because after all they aren’t committing all that cheddar to Cole, et al to finish last, or fourth, or anywhere else that doesn’t get them in the playoffs. RAJ has turned a blind eye to third base for just as long as he’s been screwing the pooch in RF (letting Werth go for nothing (not that he should have matched but he could have either traded him or signed him well in advance for far less than the Nats paid) mismanaging the career path of Dom Brown AND overpaying for Hunter).

    Then if they decide to trade Pence either now or in the offseason to get some prospects I’m ALL for it.

  6. Frank Reynolds

    July 25, 2012 10:19 PM

    Tough call. The position is very thin around the league. I tend to agree with Bill. The position has been an issue for us for a while now with Polly being hurt often. If we could fill the position now why not? Go for it.

    Michael, I do understand your concern. I just don’t see many solutions to our thridbase issue in the near future. I also fear Mini Mart being involved with this issue.

  7. Thomes Homies

    July 25, 2012 10:35 PM

    The more I think about it, the bigger a fan I am of the Lee-for-Olt dealie. He’s currently tearing up AA, and if we can get him for Lee without having to give too much in the way of salary relief, I’m all for it. Use that money to sign a pitcher in the offseason, or trade Pence for a pitcher and sign an outfielder.

    I don’t know that I could bear the thought of Martinez/Fontenot in the lineup every day, so I think they have to do something.

    PS. I realize I’m oversimplifying; it’s because I’m ignorant of what it would take to make these trades.

  8. Drew

    July 25, 2012 10:36 PM

    MASSIVE points for the Crazy Game of Poker reference. Which I loved in college, despite never being in a frat or wearing a polo shirt, frayed visor, or birkenstocks.

  9. Jim

    July 25, 2012 10:45 PM

    I think they should go hard after Olt, even if it means giving up Brown and/or Worley. Filling 3B is much harder than OF or a back end starter, and we could always just use 1-2 year rentals until help from the farm and/or good FA comes along.

  10. EricL

    July 25, 2012 10:46 PM

    Drake, be careful about Olt. He might turn out to be great, but he’s certainly not anyone you should pencil into an MLB lineup and expect big things from at this point. It’s a huge gamble to give up something highly valuable right now (Lee, for example), in order to get him.

    For comparison purposes:

    LaPorta’s age 23 season in AA:
    (362 AB) .279/.386/.539 – .924 OPS, 49BB/79K

    Olt’s age 23 season at AA:
    (324 AB) .287/.397/.580 – .978 OPS, 56BB/94K

    I also tend to agree with AtomicRuckus here, in that the Phillies really can’t afford to overpay for a good-but-not-great player again. Just because there aren’t a lot of good options for third base doesn’t mean the right move is to re-gut your farm system to acquire slightly above average guys that are going to get expensive pretty quickly.

  11. Thomes Homies

    July 25, 2012 10:58 PM

    The difference between Olt and Laporta is that, in addition to hitting like a monster in the minors, Olt’s also (reportedly) a plus defender at third base. Frankly, if he winds up hitting slightly below average and plays good defense, he’s a valuable and very cheap player for six years. Hell, that’s what Polanco did from 2009-2011 (89,97,88 wRC+) and he was worth better than 3 wins per season.

  12. Ryne Duren

    July 25, 2012 11:06 PM

    how about a bastardo and a darin ruf for headley. i think playing for the phils would make him a much better player! he probably hates losing that much year after year in front of empty seats! trow in another minor pitching chip it’s not like we’re ever gonna use some of these guys.

  13. Ryne Duren

    July 25, 2012 11:08 PM

    hell throw (not trow lol) in d. brown. if he can stay healthy enough to climb onto the bus to leave!

  14. Frank Reynolds

    July 25, 2012 11:26 PM

    @Ryne Yea I was also thinking about them moving Dom Brown too. It is getting pretty close to the time when they give up on Dom.

  15. Tom

    July 25, 2012 11:27 PM

    What about Galvis at third. It would be cheap and he provides a similar level of offense as Polanco. The savings from playing him there could be reinvested into offense in center or left.

  16. Ryan

    July 25, 2012 11:46 PM

    F No to Galvis at 3rd. He’d be the worst hitting 3rd basemen in the league by far. What about Youkilis on a one or two year deal to keep the seat warm? There has to be a better way than gutting our system again for an average player. Maybe platoon Polanco with someone?

    F No to giving up Dom Brown as well. I still think that he’ll be somewhere between average and a star–AND he’s cost controlled for quite a while. Don’t give our one big league ready position playing minor leaguer away!

  17. sjhaack

    July 26, 2012 12:02 AM

    Actually, it’s going to be about time to move Dom Brown… to the starting lineup. The Phillies are a Hunter Pence trade away from having no major league outfielders on their roster next year. Literally every theory and projection about the Phillies’ 2013 roster basically has to include Dom at one corner or the other because there’s too much other volatility to imagine something else right now.

    The idea of Bastardo/Brown/one of May/Biddle/Greene is a KINGS RANSOM for Chase Headley. You could start talking about Greinke for that kind of haul. Mind you you couldn’t finish it, but you could start.

  18. hk

    July 26, 2012 06:20 AM

    @ Michael B.,

    As Bill, you and others all point out, the difference with getting Pence and getting Headley is the lack of alternatives at 3B whereas we already had a good alternative playing RF when they traded for Pence. If not Headley, who would you target that would combine expected performance and cost certainty? Would you be on board with Headley if he came in a 3-way deal in which Pence went to a contender (i.e. the Dodgers) and the prospects from that contender (plus maybe one additional prospect from the Phils) went to SD?

    One thing that has not been addressed in either Bill’s post or yours is that the Phils passed on acquiring Ryan Roberts. While he’s probably not the long-term answer at 3B, he would be an upgrade over Wigginton and the broken down version of Polanco as a part-time player next year and possibly more if his career low ISO this year proved to be a fluke.

  19. KevinP

    July 26, 2012 07:09 AM

    I disagree with the assumption that the Phils do not have a in-house solution. While it may be a temporary measure they could move J-roll to third and use Freddy-g at SS until they can find a reasonably priced player.

  20. Ryan

    July 26, 2012 08:26 AM

    That’s a huge loss of offense at the hot corner and at SS.

  21. Kevin

    July 26, 2012 10:04 AM

    Third base is quickly becoming a position in the majors where defense is taking a precedent over power/production. By playing Galvis at 3B you would get close to gold glove defense and poor offense. Not terrible for a 8 hole hitter.

    The real question lies in the outfield which will have to be completely revamped. Dom Brown will be giving a chance to play a corner spot and I can see the Phillies making a play for Michael Bourn at CF. Mayberry in LF, Bourn in CF, and Brown in RF while not ideal is cheap and would allow the Phillies to work through the cap. Having 3 position players for less than $1.5M will greatly help the payroll.

  22. NavyJoe

    July 26, 2012 10:27 AM

    We have not had any offense at third base to lose. Check out Polanco’s offensive numbers–worst wOBA amongst qualified hitters.

  23. Phillie697

    July 26, 2012 11:13 AM

    MB,

    Just made the EXACT same argument you made in the comments to Bill’s post :) Glad to see great minds think alike. I think we are both concerned about what it’ll take to get Headley, and quite frankly, I don’t think Phillies have a chance to get him, so I’m not as worried about us betting the farm as you are.

    Oh, as for Dom… There is no freaking way the Padres will trade Headley for Dom straight up. Maybe two years ago, but not now. Plus I’m not sure the Padres would WANT Dom after RAJ basically turned him into a pumpkin. Our BEST move with Dom is to play him, and hope RAJ hasn’t completely killed his confidence and he turns out as good as we all think he is. Any other move we lose out.

    @Kevin/NavyJoe,

    No offense, but “poor offense” is not what I would use to describe Galvis. The glove is great, but not enough to make up for the high-school bat. The point of running a team is to IMPROVE the team, not to keep it the same. You point to Polanco’s offense this year and say Galvis can’t do worse… Even if I give you that, may I remind you having that anemic Polanco has helped us with a 45-54 record? How is that a good thing?

  24. LTG

    July 26, 2012 11:51 AM

    I want Headley but “I don’t think Phillies have a chance to get him, so I’m not as worried about us betting the farm as you are.” This.

    Phillie,

    On Galvis at 3B, if he maintains the wOBA he has now and plays excellent D, he could be worth 2.0 WAR next year (almost all of it in D). That would be an improvement over this year’s 3Bers, who currently stand around 0.5 WAR. And if we get a full year (~130 games) from Utley and Howard, plus a lack of injuries to the starting rotation and something in the OF (who knows?), then the Phils should be competing for the division. Of course, there will be no margin of error. For that reason alone Galvis at 3B should be the last resort plan.

  25. KH

    July 26, 2012 12:31 PM

    Trade Pence and trade for Headley. Even without trading Pence I can’t just say no to theoretical Headley trades I would need to at least theorize on exactly what they would have to give up first. So what do the people against trading for Headley think the Padres would ask for?

  26. Richard

    July 26, 2012 12:48 PM

    “Even if I give you that, may I remind you having that anemic Polanco has helped us with a 45-54 record? How is that a good thing?”

    I think putting Galvis at third would be a very bad idea, but this is a spurious line of argument. The team is 45-54 not because of Polanco but because of its pitching.

  27. Phillie697

    July 26, 2012 03:19 PM

    @Richard,

    The team is 45-54 because of Polanco AND because of pitching and a host of other things. Are you going to tell me if we had David Wright at 3B this year we wouldn’t at least win two or three more games? The statement is spurious only because you want it to be.

  28. Phillie697

    July 26, 2012 03:23 PM

    @KH,

    I’m not “against” it because I don’t think it’ll happen, whether we trade Pence or not. Padres will get a better deal elsewhere.

  29. Phillie697

    July 26, 2012 03:34 PM

    @LTG,

    I don’t know where you got your math, but even if you think Galvis’s glove translates exactly from 2B to 3B, I have him at 1.5 WAR over the course of the season, and given that our 3B so far have accounted for 0.5 WAR already, that puts them at about 1.0 WAR over the whole season, so we’re not talking about much of an improvement going from chumps of 2012 to Galvis of 2013, which is exactly the point: we should strive for a bigger upgrade.

  30. hk

    July 26, 2012 04:14 PM

    To the anti-Headley contingent:

    If not Headley, who would you get to play 3B that is comparable player, has a comparable contract situation and can be acquired cheaper?

  31. Phillie697

    July 26, 2012 04:48 PM

    @hk,

    There is no one. That’s why Headley is so sought after. We just ain’t got nothing to offer the Padres that would persuade them to trade Headley to us. May and/or Biddle? There are better pitching prospects out there. Dom? Nobody is going to touch him at this point. Anything we can get back for Pence? Sorry, there isn’t another Cosart/Singleton for Pence trade out there, RAJ’s moment of weakness last year notwithstanding.

    If people here are willing to plug Galvis out there, I would at least consider Alberto Callaspo. His value is mostly his defense as well, but at least he’s not a blackhole with the bat. Obviously not obtainable at the trade deadline, but in the off-season maybe? Probably not tho.

  32. CSant

    July 26, 2012 05:00 PM

    Not that this is the point of the article, but look at the Phillies record since Howard has been back. The man is a superstar.

  33. hk

    July 26, 2012 06:01 PM

    Phillie697,

    Fair enough. Callaspo would be an upgrade over what they are rolling out there now. As I mentioned above, I would have liked to see them pick up Ryan Roberts and see if he could get his regain his power a bit.

  34. hk

    July 26, 2012 06:04 PM

    CSant,

    Ignoring the many other questionable aspects of your comment, I ask…what’s so great about an 8-7 record in the 15 games with Howard?

  35. NavyJoe

    July 26, 2012 06:40 PM

    Let me ask an honest question about WAR and Ryan Howard’s performance so far this year.

    In 54 plate appearances, he has an OPS of .920, a wOBA of .396, and a WRC of 150. For reference, he would rank fourth amongst all MLB 1B in all of those categories behind Votto, Encarnacion, and Konerko. There would be a healthy gap between him and the next best hitter, Prince Fielder.

    However, if I look at his current WAR (.2) and project it out to a full season of ABs, he would only have 2.8 WAR, which would be ~14th amongst MLB 1B.

    I’m assuming that the difference is based upon fielding and base running, but I have a tough time believing that Howard’s performance in those areas is so terrible as to mostly negate his offensive value.

    I would be pleasantly surprised if Ryno keeps this pace up at the plate. I realize we are looking at a very small sample size.

  36. NavyJoe

    July 26, 2012 08:02 PM

    Thanks for the aptly titled link. Looking at the numbers for this year, it appears that Ryno is putting up career worst rates for fielding and base running..

  37. Bill Baer

    July 26, 2012 08:17 PM

    For UZR, you don’t want to pay any attention to it until you have at least two seasons’ worth of data. Ideally, three. The base running stuff is more or less irrelevant, especially for Howard because it’s never been his forte.

  38. NavyJoe

    July 26, 2012 09:23 PM

    So that would indicate that Utley and Howard have both been worth more this season than their WAR currently indicates since each of their respective UZRs is well below their career norm?

  39. Bill Baer

    July 26, 2012 09:40 PM

    No, it just means that there’s a huge error bar around the 2012 UZR stat. There are a ton of factors that can influence that number in such a small sample, including luck, defensive alignment, quality of batters faced, park factors, etc. For instance, before Total Zone was re-calibrated, Brett Lawrie had an obnoxiously high defensive rating on Baseball Reference because the Blue Jays used him in a shift so often.

    I’m not sure what the specific error bars are for UZR with a given sample size, but basically, with Howard’s 109 defensive innings, we are confident that his -36.4 UZR/150 is within +/- oh, say, 75 points of his actual defensive skill, which is to say we’re not very confident at all.

    If you look at his 2009-12 aggregate UZR/150, it’s -5.4 in over 4,000 defensive innings. We can be confident that that mark is within, say, +/- 5 points of his actual defensive skill. We can be more confident that those numbers aptly reflect his skill level, inasmuch as a flawed data set and flawed methodology can aptly reflect defensive skill. (If you’re on Twitter, ask @cwyers for more details about this.)

  40. Nick

    July 26, 2012 09:51 PM

    Why does everyone want to trade Hunter Pence so bad let alone think he could be so easily replaced? Pence is under 30 and under control for next year and could be the only outfielder we have set in stone. You don’t realize how valuable his right handed power hitting bat is in that 5 or 6 hole protecting our big Lefties and now Chooch. You cant rely on Chooch producing the same kind of year next year even though he very well might, Pence is a great club house guy who goes all out and still has room for improvement. His average is still in the 280′s even after a sub par first half in which he definitely took on a lot more pressure with the absence of the big guys. If anything they should trade Victorino for a few solid prospects and then trade for Headley while not giving near as much after getting some decent return for Victornio. Chase Headley could thrive at CBP…look at his numbers…in one of the leagues worst offenses at one of the worst hitters parks he has still put up productive numbers this year and at only 28. Imagine this guy hitting in the 6 or 7 hole? Pretty nice upgrade and for two more years ..which is about what the Phillies realistically have left for a WS run in them after this year…there’s a reason why so many teams want Pence and could be willing to dish out so much…hes special

  41. Bill Baer

    July 26, 2012 09:56 PM

    @ Nick

    Pence is valuable for the very reasons you cite. He is more valuable to the Phillies as a trade piece that nets a better position player, a starting pitcher, or a prospect(s).

    Lineup protection is a myth. See:

    crashburnalley.com/2011/09/20/the-myth-of-hunter-pences-protection/

    Victorino has less trade value because he is a soon-to-be free agent. Neither Pence nor Victorino would be attractive to the Padres, who are looking to shed high-salaried players.

  42. LTG

    July 26, 2012 10:05 PM

    Utley’s UZR is particularly skewed by that error he committed last week.

    Phillie,

    The numbers came from my ass. But my ass was thinking something. Galvis shows better footwork, footspeed, reflexes, and arm than Polanco, even in his prime. As a 3B, Polanco put up ~1.5 WAR on D before this year. So, my ass thinks Galvis will be slightly better, ~1.7. And Polly’s awful bat and its wOBA that is equal to Galvis’s was worth .15 WAR in ~300 PAs. That’s .3 WAR in 600 PAs. 1.7 + .3 = 2. That is what my ass thinks. My ass also thinks that on the low end Galvis would be at 1.5 WAR, if his transition to 3B is not as successful as my ass thinks it will be.

  43. hk

    July 27, 2012 06:53 AM

    Nick,

    Because Victorino plays a premium defensive position and plays it well and because Pence plays a less important defensive position and plays it poorly, and because Pence’s offensive production has not been that much better in this (wrist injury-plauged) season for Victorino, Victorino is the better player than Pence. Add in the fact that Bill mentioned and that you mentioned plus the fact that the Phils most MLB ready minor leaguer plays the corner OF, it makes sense to trade Pence. Yes, Pence is 2.5 years younger, which matters if you are comparing the two of them in the realm of the Phils signing either to a long-term (3 or more year) deal. However, if the Phils are going to trade one of them and have the other in the OF next year on a one-year deal for $12M to $13M, they should be much better off with Victorino in CF (accpeting a qualifying offer) and trading Pence for a greater return than trading Victorino for a lesser package and Pence in RF.

  44. Phillie697

    July 27, 2012 09:36 AM

    @LTG,

    I think your ass is smarter than my ass. Just saying :)

  45. Phillie697

    July 27, 2012 09:41 AM

    Hmm… Why would anyone give up “a few solid prospects” for a 2-month rental of a CF currently sporting a .706 OPS? There is a reason why all the Phillies are asking for right now for Vic is an established, young middle relief, because that’s all we’re gonna get. You want get some decent returns, you have to trade Pence.

  46. joecatz

    July 28, 2012 10:24 AM

    I’m pretty square in the make a deal for Headley camp, primarily because the options are just as thin in 2014 and beyond. No one in the system is close, save Asche. the biggest issue with most people regarding Headley i’ve seen is the cost in prospects, and the lack of enough to get him.

    I center a package around Worley. Worley is a really godd pitcher pitching on the wrong team. He’s horrible from the 6th inning on, look deep into his periphs and you’ll see it, and he’s grossly mismanaged. We’d be better served long term putting him in the pen or putting an innings eater in his slot.

    trae Pence for Worleys replacement, Center the package for Headley around worley.

  47. Brian

    August 01, 2012 01:26 PM

    A cheap in house option may exist for third base. Cody Asche started the year at Clearwater in the Florida State League and hit for a high average, but little power. He got promoted to Reading where he proceeded to hit an awful .103 for 8 games in June, but in his last 10 games he’s hit .409 and more importantly has 4 homeruns during these 10 games. From what I’ve read some don’t like his third base defense, but others think he’ll be league average there. I’m a fan of Mike Olt as much as some who’ve posted here, but short of trading Lee to the Rangers in the offseason he’s not coming here. Nick Castellanos is only 20 y.o. and hitting over .300 with some power in AA for the Tiger’s organization and might be a better prospect than Olt, but you’d have to bowl them over with an offer similar to what the Rangers would want for Olt. I don’t know either of these teams situations as far as organizational depth at catcher and pitcher, but maybe a deal involving the new catcher we just picked up, Tommy Joseph, who has huge power potential, and one of the young pitchers in our organization would net you Castellanos or Olt since those guys are blocked at the major league level and the Phils have good minor league depth at catcher and pitcher.

Next ArticleCrash Bag, Vol. 12: Last Call at Red Hot Tomatoes