The Mets won’t be conducting any business on this trading deadline day, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the NL East is standing pat. The Phillies, for one, appear to be holding a fire sale.
They traded Shane Victorino to the Dodgers for two pitchers and they sent Hunter Pence to the Giants for three players.
These are interesting moves for the Phillies. Victorino is a free agent after the season, so apparently the Phillies decided they didn’t want to re-sign him. Trading Pence is another story; he has one year left before free agency and he is leading the team in home runs and RBIs. He would likely cost the Phillies upwards of $15 million in 2013, so maybe they don’t think he’s worth that much.
It’s just odd for a team to trade away two of its leading hitters while at the same time spend $144 million to re-sign a pitcher (Cole Hamels). But Ruben Amaro, Jr. has proven in the past that he knows what he’s doing, so I’m sure he has a plan.
There is also talk that the Phillies are shopping Cliff Lee. I would be stunned if he were moved. The Phillies are not rebuilding; they are reloading for next season, and Lee will play a crucial role in 2013. It looks like Amaro is just clearing some salary now in order to make more moves later.
In any case this is good news for the Mets. Two very good hitters are now out of the division, and hopefully it means the Mets can stay ahead of the Phils in the standings this season.