Most of the talk surrounding the latest Phillies trade rumors has been around the team acquiring a right-handed bat. It’s not a surprise – the offense is regularly anemic and the Phillies really have no one who can hit out of the five-hole.
And while that may still happen, it’s possible Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr may stick with the tried-and-true axiom that led him to assemble the Four Horsemen in the first place – pitching wins. So with that, the rumors are gaining steam that the Phils are looking to trade for an arm, specifically a bullpen piece to offset all the ridiculous injuries that unit has been dealing with all season.
The latest has the Phillies considering trading power-hitting first base prospect Jonathan Singleton to the San Diego Padres, according to a blog called INSIDETHEPADRES (via MLB Trade Rumors). They quote a source saying the Phillies are considering moving Singleton, not for the previously rumored Padres closer Heath Bell, but Padres setup man Mike Adams.
While Bell is a free agent after the season, and will likely demand huge dollars on a long term deal, Adams is under team control for 2012. Singleton is a stud prospect but is obviously blocked at first by Ryan Howard. In 81 games so far this season with Class-A Clearwater, the 19 year-old is hitting .282 with seven home runs and 41 RBI.
Adams would be a great piece to add to the bullpen, but it would be very Ed Wade-like to trade a very highly rated prospect for a 32 year-old middle reliever, even one with a sparkling 1.70 ERA over four seasons in San Diego. And the kicker is that the thinking is that Singleton alone would not be enough for the Padres to give up Adams. That’s pretty steep, especially when considering that in October 2008 Adams needed surgery to repair a torn labrum and damage to his rotator cuff.
The Phillies would have to think long and hard on whether to do a deal with San Diego at that price. Singleton may only be playing in A ball and likely doesn’t have a future on the big club, but that doesn’t mean they should move him for a bullpen arm. Hold on to him and see if he can be the centerpiece of a deal for a major league bat or even another starter.
That said, if the Padres will take a lower tier prospect or two, Adams would be a phenomenal get for a team trying to win a World Series with a bullpen suffering more trauma than a character on HBO’s Game of Thrones.
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