The Phillies fell 5-0 Friday night in what turned into another ugly scene at Citizens Bank Park. As the losses mount, so has the trade speculation.
According to ESPN's Buster Olney, outfielder Juan Pierre has drawn the interest of clubs looking for lead-off help, the Reds among them. Pierre, who signed a low-risk minor league deal, turned out to be one of the best value signings of this offseason. The 34-year-old is hitting .317/.355/.387 with 20 steals in 23 chances and has started most games in left field. This is the first report involving Pierre as speculation builds around higher-profile teammates like Cole Hamels, Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence. The Phils were able to secure a pair of quality prospects for Jim Thome and miraculously got something back for Chad Qualls. In addition to Pierre, they could look toward shopping other role players, like Ty Wigginton or even Placido Polanco or Mike Fontenot for teams in need of utility. Moving Pierre would also free up left field for John Mayberry or Domonic Brown as the Phils look ahead to 2013.
The Phillies, it seem, are open for business and could stand to benefit from owning a number of expiring contracts and the newly expanded Wild Card format.
Game chat: The Phillies and Braves continue Saturday night at 7:15 in the stinkin' heat. Joe Blanton and Tommy Hanson have the honors. Ryan Howard is not expected to start. With Saturday's loss, the Phils fell 11 games under .500 for the first time since 2002.