Jayson Werth. Brad Lidge. Raul Ibanez. Ryan Madson. Pedro Martinez. Roy Oswalt. Pat Burrell.
All big-name players who played integral parts in the Phillies 2007-2011 run. All gone. And while each of their departures were, for varying reasons, disheartening, none of those guys comprised the core of this era of Phillies baseball, which we’ll define as Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz, Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino. Those are the guys upon which this team has revolved since 2007 (with a myriad stars inhabiting their universe).
But we’ve now reached the end of days. The end of an era, what with the Phillies 7,000 games out of first. The core will now slowly unravel. We all know about Hamels, but Victorino (less talked about) may be the first to go. FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi: [FOX Sports]
Something that should grab your attention: A high-ranking executive with one club predicted that Victorino will be the first of the big-name players to move. But he’s having the poorest of his eight seasons in Philadelphia, with a .179 batting average over his past 10 games.
The Dodgers are known to have interest in Victorino, who would supply the offense they’ve lacked in left field while perhaps becoming the leadoff man. Other teams that have scouted Victorino recently include the Rangers, Tigers, Pirates, Marlins and Giants.
Victorino, 31, is in the final year of his contract. If he’s moved, the acquiring club will hope he’s revived by the opportunity to win again.
It’s almost a guarantee that Victorino won’t be a Phillie next season– he’s 31, will demand more money than he’s worth, and his skill set is replaceable. As Morosi notes, he may be the first big-name player to be moved before the trade deadline at the end of this month. In a trade, the Phillies would likely be able to land a bigger haul than the compensatory draft pick they would receive if Victorino left during free agency.
None of what you just read should be shocking, but the day most Phillies fans feared – the selling off of core players – is almost here. And it’s going to be hard to watch.