The July 31 trade deadline is fast approaching and the Phillies are in an unenviable position. They reached .500 just as the first half ended, the Braves are limping and their stranglehold on the NL East has weakened, and the Nationals have been uninspiring for three and a half months. Arguably, the NL East is more winnable now than it was at any other point during the season. But their core is old and injury prone. Several key players become free agents after the season. The Minor League system still needs some help. This is why Phillies chairman Bill Giles called it “the most difficult July I have ever seen“.
Fortunately for the Phillies, I think I have a pretty good plan for navigating the next two weeks with style, under the assumption the team is serious about contending in the NL East.