Other needs, like the bullpen and bench, could be addressed if the Phillies surrender the prize prospects the Blue Jays desire.
If you listened to my morning show with 610's Brian Startare, you heard Brian's pitch for the Jays to dampen the blow of gutting the Phillies' farm system by kicking in veteran pieces to flesh out some areas of need. Undervalued infielder Marco Scutaro, who bats from the right side, comes immediately to mind, as do grizzled vet Kevin Millar, right-hander Jason Frasor, who will be a free agent in 2011, and left-hander Scott Downs, who is midway through a rather lucrative three-year deal. The idea for the Jays being they might be able to get more of what they want for those players as part of a Phillies package than piecemeal through individual trades. The question becomes whether the price would become even more astronomical for the Phillies. (Reader Brad C. notes that Scutaro will become a Type A free agent).
While a Halladay deal loomes, the Phillies are running out of time to decide whether action needs to be taken to upgrade the bullpen, which lost Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero to injury this week and witnessed another discouraging performance by closer Brad Lidge.
Meanwhile, infielder Eric Bruntlett continues his descent into baseball's abyss, now hitting a comical .129/.202/.192. Scutaro would be a night-and-day upgrade, while Millar seems to be the type of player they might be able to land after the non-waiver deadline, a la Matt Stairs, that is if the Halladay negotiations end on a positive note. Other bench bats worth tracking outside of Toronto include Baltimore's Ty Wigginton and Washington's Josh Willingham.
Cardinals 8, Phillies 1: Only a few notes from a forgettable night of baseball. J.A. Happ pitched better than his baseline, getting burned by some bleeps and bloops for a four-spot in the sixth. Puerto Rico Joel Piniero pitched his game, lots of grounders and strikes to keep the Phillies at bay. The Matt Holliday trade made an immediate difference for St. Louis; Holliday went 4-for-5 and suddenly the Cards look very dangerous indeed. Imagine how the Phillies would look with Halladay.