Even going into the 2015 season, the Philadelphia Phillies were obvious trade deadline sellers, and with a 22-44 record, the worst record in baseball, nothing has changed. Despite their record, the Phillies have likely the most attractive piece on the trade market, plus another few pieces that could be moved at the deadline.
Who are the likely candidates to be traded?
The most obvious name on the Phillies' trade block, and one of the biggest blue-chip players on the market is left-handed pitcher Cole Hamels. With trade rumors swirling all season, Hamels has been strong as ever, leading the National League with 94⅓ innings pitched in 2015, posting a 2.96 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in his first 14 starts, walking 31 and striking out 103.
The Phillies are 7-7 in Hamels' starts this year, 15-37 when anyone else starts, but he is owed roughly $85 million including a potential buyout in 2019, not ideal for a team starting a rebuild.
There is certainly interest among other teams for Hamels, with several, includng the Red Sox, Dodgers and Astros, having expressed interest in the 31-year-old already.
Hamels is not the only Phillies starter that could move at the deadline. Veteran right-hander Aaron Harang has drawn interest from teams after a strong start to 2015. Harang has a 3.24 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 89 innings over his first 14 starts, walking 24 and striking out 61. He also has an attractive contract for a team looking for a rental, as his deal with Philadelphia is for just one year and $5 million.
Finally, the Phillies will almost certainly move closer Jonathan Papelbon at the trade deadline. Papelbon has saved 12 of Philadelphia's 22 wins this season and has a 1.05 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in 25⅔ innings this season with 30 strikeouts against just seven walks. Papelbon has a $13 million vesting option for 2016 that requires him to finish 55 games this season. He has finished 23 of the Phillies' 66 games in 2015.