Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Depending on his next move, Worley is Amaro's best barganing chip

PBR - Vance Worley appears to be quite popular this week in Nashville.

A talented young starting pitcher, Worley is the Phillies biggest bargaining chip on the trade market. The 25-year-old right hander is cheap and won't become arbitration eligible until 2014, plus he's put together a pair of respectable seasons at the major league level. 
 
The Phillies need a center fielder, a third baseman, and a setup reliever, but general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has yet to make a splash in free agency. Josh Hamilton and Michael Bourn remain as possible answers in center field, but both are looking for mega-deals and that's something Amaro and Co. seemingly want to avoid. The setup reliever and third basemen markets are barren, scattered with overpriced aging veterans and nothing that truly makes sense for the Phillies. 

Given the current free agent market, a trade may be the only way Amaro can improve the roster while maintaining financial flexibility and Worley has already drawn some interest. Several clubs have contact the Phillies about his availability this week, according to a source in Nashville for the Winter Meetings. 

Worley went 6-9 with a 4.20 ERA in 23 games last season and battled stamina issues throughout much of the year. He pitched into the seventh inning just seven times last season and also saw his WHIP raise significantly from 1.23 in 2011 to 1.51 in 2012. 

Reports over the past 48 hours indicate the Phillies have been in contact with the Rockies about Dexter Fowler and the Yankees about Curtis Granderson. If either trade were to come to fruition it's likely Worley would be involved. 

"A strong arm that a team can control for a while has definite trade value, especially in a market like this," one National League executive said. 

- Patrick Gordon is the editor of the Philadelphia Baseball Review. Contact him at pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com or @Philabaseball on Twitter.

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