Ken Rosenthal has set the Phillies’ little corner of the Twitterverse a-tweeting by suggesting — based on word from “major league sources” — that the Phillies could shop Jayson Werth mid-season. This is one of those things, though, in which the caveat basically swallows up the rumor. The caveat: “if the Phillies somehow fall out of contention.”
While I’m sure one’s definition of “fall out of contention” varies, I don’t see how that could realistically apply to the Phillies before the trade deadline. They’re four games back as we speak. Only two games out of the Wild Card. They’re playing a Braves team that is banged up and is doing things like trotting out an outfield consisting of Melky Cabrera, Omar Infante and Gregor Blanco, and they’re doing it at home. At the end of the week the two teams they’re behind will play each other. It’s just as likely that they’ll gain ground before the break as lose ground.
After the break they have just over two full weeks before the deadline with over half of those games coming against losing teams. Yes, it’s possible that they’ll lose 14 of 17 or something while the Mets and Braves surge, but that’s not likely either. My guess is that, at worst, they’ll be around the same place they are now. Maybe four or five games back. At worst. That’s certainly not “out of contention” territory.
Someone better versed in waiver-trade-fu than me can correct me if I’m wrong, but given that Werth is (a) good; and (b) about to become a free agent, the odds of him making it through waivers seem pretty small (i.e. there’s not some big contract to scare teams away). That means the Phillies aren’t like to match up with any optimum trade partners if they want to make an August deal.
All of this leads to me thinking that the odds of the Phillies actually trading Jayson Werth are infinitesimal. It’s enough to get Rosenthal a little chatter, but ultimately nothing is going to happen.