One of the team’s biggest weaknesses is their lack of a right-handed power bat in the middle of their lineup. This is nothing new as the 2011 team that won 102 games lacked that bat too; hence, the Hunter Pence trade. The 2012 team was missing the bat and that team only went on to win 81 games.
This year? Well, we all see how this year is going.
So what is Ruben Amaro Jr. going to do about it? What CAN he do about it? He has an aging core and a losing team. Young, promising right-handed sluggers don’t just grow on trees. But they could be had – for a price.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Amaro, despite not having the strongest farm system, has been trying to pry 23 year old Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton away from Miami for months. Unfortunately, as it should go without saying, he has been largely unsuccessful in his attempt.
There is nothing about Stanton that the Phillies shouldn’t like. He is a four year veteran already who has a batting .267/.354/.538 with 113 home runs and 282 RBIs in his career. Last season as a 22 year old, Stanton had his best statistical season batting .290/.361/.608 with 37 home runs and 86 RBIs. He had 34 home runs and 87 RBIs in 2011 but only (I wish I could say that about the Phillies sluggers) hit .262/.356/.537.
The price tag for Stanton is high – sky high. I don’t even know if the Phillies have what it takes in their farm system to get it done. A trade would all but certainly include Maikel Franco and Jesse Biddle among a myriad of other players. What is the cost that Amaro would be willing to spend? The thing that makes this situation unique is that it does not necessarily mean “mortgaging the future” because Stanton doesn’t turn 24 until November so he is the future. Hopefully his future has years of wearing Phillies pinstripes ahead.
One thing this reminds me of is the cat-and-mouse game Amaro played with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2009 before ultimately acquiring Roy Halladay in December of that year. It is strikingly similar as Amaro has zeroed in on a guy, wants him for the Phillies, and will seemingly stop at nothing until he gets him. The difference is the Phillies had the farm system to make a deal like that in 2009. I don't know if that exists anymore.
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