PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 25: Shane Victorino #8 of the Philadelphia Phillies is congratulated by Hunter Pence #3 after scoring on a double by Chase Utley #26 (not pictured) against of the Milwaukee Brewers during a MLB baseball game on July 25, 2012 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
This weekend’s series against the Atlanta Braves could influence the Philadelphia Phillies stance on trades, especially when it comes to outfielders Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:
Will the series determine whether the Phillies are buyers or sellers? Their general manager, Ruben Amaro Jr., does not necessarily think in those terms.
On the other hand, if the Phillies continue their surge, they easily could lose interest in trading players such as outfielders Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence.
The team has sold more than 3 million tickets. First baseman Ryan Howard, second baseman Chase Utley and right-hander Roy Halladay are back from injuries. Ownership will be reluctant to concede if the postseason is still within reasonable reach.
Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could decide to stand pat this summer for several reasons, including their impressive attendance figures and the fact that star players such as Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Roy Halladay have all returned from injury.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told Rosenthal he’s taking things "one day at a time." Amaro added that he doesn’t view his club as a buyer or seller, but a team "trying to improve, whether it’s improving for this year or beyond."
It was reported earlier today that the Phillies have discussed Victorino with the Cleveland Indians, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds and Tampa Bay Rays. Meanwhile, Philadelphia was reportedly eager to move Pence earlier this week, and the Los Angeles Dodgers have expressed interest in the 29-year-old.
Do the Phillies still have a shot at the playoffs this season?