Question: How many readers are in favor of trading Brett Myers?
When the domestic abuse charges were first filed, I issued a guarded reaction here on Beerleaguer. I did not chest thump for an immediate trade as many people did, but I was silently in favor of sitting him as soon as possible.
Obviously, the situation could have been handled much better, to the point where Myers, the Phillies and fans might have had the resolve to move past it over time. In order for that to happen, Myers needed to immediately issue his regret and concern for the situation happening in the "real world," and the Phillies needed to make Myers’ family their first priority in the "real world." Baseball’s fantasy world should have never entered into it.
Myers is due back after the all-star game, which is only a few days away. Then the reality hits. As ugly as things are on the field (last night, they lost their eighth-consecutive series) it will only get uglier with Myers on the mound.
The deadline for trading players is July 31. I strongly believe the Phillies must make that day the final date Myers puts on a Phillies uniform. First, it's the right statement to make. Second, it disinfects the team of a coddled, spoiled creep. Most importantly, it can turn into a great baseball decision for a team whose window has slammed shut.
There is little doubt that if Myers is made available, he will become the most sought-after commodity on the market for a playoff-bound team. I do not believe a team like St. Louis will hold back at the 11th hour of the deadline because of Myers' past. Every contender, from the Red Sox, to the Mets, to the Yankees, to the Cardinals, could use another starter. Nobody wants the baggage of a large contract. None of them want a rental. None of this is Myers.
Could Myers fetch a top-flight third base prospect, someone on the rise that can learn and grow with our infield nucleus? Yes.
In addition, could a deal that involved Myers and two of our relievers also net a pitching prospect, someone to join the slowly blossoming core of pitchers emerging in the Phillies minor leagues? Yes.
And is a deal involving Myers, a player many teams will view as a No. 1 starter, the best way to get out from under Pat Burrell’s contract? Several readers believe it could happen, and so do I. You want Myers? You want pitching? You take Burrell. Burrell, for all his faults, could help a playoff offense.
Myers is good enough to make another team bend over backwards, but the process must start now. Three team-or even four-team deals-could be the only way for the Phils to get maximum return.
Restating the rules:
1). The Phillies should only get young players on the rise. They should not get veterans, not even veteran starting pitching. They do not need the second coming of David Bell. They do not need another Jon Lieber. Those days are over.
2). They must fill positions of need to start the rebuilding process. They need more pitching, a third baseman and a catcher, in that order.
3). They must get out from under bad contracts.
Myers could start the ball rolling. Throw in players who will never, ever go anywhere with this team.
Teams with pennant fever will see a Cy Young-caliber pitcher. I see a man with a better chance of getting arrested again than becoming baseball's best pitcher.
Myers is the Phillies best chip. Use it well.