I have never been one to promote the aggressive trading and signing of big name free agents, but this Phillies team needs a serious change in personnel. The team is under-performing this year and there needs a shake up. If the Phillies want to make another run at a title this year, they need to make changes in both their lineup and their rotation. Moreover, if they want to stay competitive into the future with this nucleus they need to do the same thing. Any way you slice it, it is time to make some changes.
A year ago, Raul Ibanez looked like he was going to carry the Phillies to another championship all by his lonesome. Jayson Werth was making the release of Brett Favre look-alike Geoff Jenkins appear to be a genius move. Joe Blanton was carving out a niche in the rotation, and Jamie Moyer was continuing to defy his age. Now, Ibanez can't hit the barn-side of a broad, Werth is the strikeout king of Philadelphia, Blanton's ERA is fatter than he is, and Old Man Moyer appears as if the TPLIYP curse has got him after a prosperous first few months. These guys can not be relied upon to carry this Phillies team to the postseason again. GM Ruben Amaro has got to make some changes.
Now injuries have certainly played a part in the Phillies' struggles this season, but there are some things that healthy players are just not going to fix. The return of Chase Utley is not going to make the back end of the Phillies awful rotation any better. A top-flight pitcher needs to be acquired to give the Phillies a rotation that can compete. Blanton, Kendrick and Moyer are just not enough to compliment the H and H boys.
Let's kill two birds with one stone here; trade Ibanez and Werth for Roy Oswalt. This will bring in a solid pitcher who can help the bullpen, and eliminate two big holes in the lineup. Moreover, the Phillies can then bring up future star Domonic Brown. He will be another lefty in the lineup, but that didn't stop the Phils in 2009, and the Phils can counter that with either "Disco" Ben Francisco or John Mayberry in the other vacant outfield spot. Both men are righties, and can pound the ball.
The Phillies have been successful for a few years now, and are starting to get complacent. Its time for GM Ruben Amaro to show them that nobody's job is safe. He needs to ship some guys out to sound the alarm that this team is not playing up to his ability. In doing so he can also help build for the future. When (if) the team finally gets fully healthy, they then might have a chance to win this year and into the future.