The Eagles Should Trade Kevin Kolb -- Right Now

The Eagles Should Trade Kevin Kolb -- Right Now

Technically, the NFL lockout is over. Maybe it will be reenacted, maybe not, but at this very moment, only the league thinks this thing is still on. What can stop an intrepid team such as the Eagles from making moves?

While it would be extremely unpopular among a group of owners desperately calling for timeout, the Eagles absolutely should use this window to make at least one move. If they can find a willing partner, the Eagles should trade Kevin Kolb today, and collect their compensation of 2011 draft picks.

Why not? Nobody is suggesting the Eagles go completely AWOL, and open their doors for workouts, or start signing free agents—though it would be nice. This is merely swapping one player's rights for another.

Chances are the NFL would deny their request, but who knows? By not authorizing a trade, or really, by preventing any franchise from operating like normal, the league risks violating the law. Up to this point, maybe they can argue not enough time has passed to reasonably enforce the court's ruling, but how easily can they make such a case once that first trade comes across the commissioner's desk?

It's also entirely possible the Eagles would be unable to find a partner; not at this late date, not in this uncertain climate. Even if a trade was miraculously completed, the lockout could resume as early as tomorrow, and the club that acquired Kolb is stuck with a new quarterback they can't see or speak to. For how long is anybody's guess.

And good luck finding another owner who will break from the rest of them, or convincing Jeffrey Lurie for that matter.

But the Eagles are getting screwed here, and this is their only chance. Sure, Kolb will be worth roughly the same after the draft as he is before it, but how much better could they be within the next two seasons if they had those picks this year?

It might be one of the most controversial trades of all time, but it's completely justifiable. Why shouldn't any club in a similar situation trade players for picks today? There are no adjustments to the terms of existing contracts. The only thing that changes is which team owns the players' rights.

Worst case scenario: maybe the deal gets blocked. Otherwise, all St. Roger Goodell and the NFL's team of attorneys can do is put on their frowny faces and wag a collective finger at the Eagles.

Is it going to happen? Of course not. Based on the emails the Eagles are sending fans, the franchise is firmly entrenched with the other owners, who are intent on reversing the court's decision. Exchanging Kolb for picks today would be the best possible thing for the team though, which is all that matters in this space.

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin: Adam Morgan is a definite bullpen candidate

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin: Adam Morgan is a definite bullpen candidate

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Just pitch.
 
Don’t worry about the role.
 
Just pitch.
 
That’s Adam Morgan’s mindset this spring.
 
“I’m just trying to show whoever needs to see it that I can be an asset to this team,” the left-hander said after his spring debut against the New York Yankees on Saturday (see story). “I’m just keeping it simple that way. I’m not trying to go out for that fifth (starting) spot. If the fifth spot opens up, I’d be more than willing to do that. If they want to put me in the bullpen, I’d be more than willing to do that. If they want me to be the backup catcher, I’ll be the backup catcher.”
 
The Phillies have plenty of candidates for backup catcher.
 
And the top five spots in their starting rotation, barring an unforeseen development, are accounted for.
 
But there is a way for Morgan to make this team.
 
“He’s definitely a bullpen candidate,” manager Pete Mackanin said.
 
Mackanin is on record as saying he’d like to have two lefties in what likely will be a seven-man bullpen. It might not work out that way, but that would be Mackanin’s preference.
 
Morgan is one of what appears to be four candidates along with Joely Rodriguez, Cesar Ramos and Sean Burnett. Ramos and Burnett are experienced major-league veterans in camp on minor-league contracts. Rodriguez is the only pure lefty reliever on the 40-man roster. Morgan, of course, is on the 40-man roster, but he’s mainly been a starter in his career.

There’s a long way to go in spring training and it would not be surprising to see general manager Matt Klentak add to the list of lefty relief candidates with some type of pickup before the end of camp.
 
But for now, it’s just these four.
 
Morgan, who turns 27 on Monday, started and pitched two scoreless innings against the Yankees on Saturday and will likely continue to have his innings stretched out throughout the Grapefruit League season, just in case he’s needed as a starter.

Ramos and Rodriguez both pitched an inning Saturday. Ramos allowed a hit and a run. Rodriguez had a clean inning. Burnett was tagged for two hits and two runs on Friday.
 
Morgan made 21 starts for the Phillies last season. He also made two relief appearances and finished the season with a 6.04 ERA. He was sent to Triple A in July and returned in mid-August. He made nine starts after returning and pitched at least six innings and gave up two or fewer earned runs in four of them.
 
During his time in Triple A, Morgan started throwing a two-seam fastball or sinker. He’s continued to throw it this spring and believes it will help him.
 
“I learned to trust the two-seamer last year and that’s what I hope to keep moving forward with,” he said.
 
Will it take him to the Phillies’ bullpen?
 
He hopes so. He got a taste of relieving last season and liked it.
 
“Oh, yeah, I loved it,” he said. “Every time the phone rang down there, I was on high alert. It was awesome. It’s a rush.
 
“But wherever I land, I land. I’d be willing to play anywhere on this team.”