A story bound to pick up steam, should the Phils wheels come unglued even more, is the idea of dealing away closer Billy Wagner, who’s a free agent after the season.
Though his contributions have been largely overlooked, there’s a significant chance Wagner will be named to the All-Star game. He’s arguably the second-best closer in the National League behind Chad Cordero of Washington, based on his 18 saves, low 2.34 ERA and 0.98 WHIP.
Fans should be cheering on his selection no matter what, but I’m pulling for it a bit more because it will make him more attractive to potential buyers should the Phils enter sell mode.
You didn’t hear it here, but Wagner has been good, not great, in my opinion. I can't remember the last time he pitched in a high-pressure situation. Then again, outside the bubble of Philadelphia, few closers have been great and Wags is still one of the best, despite a slip in his velocity.
Trades rarely happen within the division, but teams that could use his services include Atlanta and Florida. I wouldn’t hesitate to trade Wags within the division because he’s hinted at retirement for two years.
However, we all remember what happened the last Atlanta-Philadelphia trade, and I doubt Ed Wade would cut his losses for prospects in his last gasp as GM.