As Carlos Beltran spoke about trying to help the Giants win another World Series, Phillies officials were encamped four floors above in an effort to swing a deal for a player that they hope will make a difference in their quest to win a second World Series in four years.
According to people with knowledge of the situation, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is aggressively trying to make a trade before Sunday afternoons non-waiver trade deadline.
Sources say Amaro remains focused on three players that he believes can help make the Phillies a better club.
Houston outfielder Hunter Pence remains the top target.
San Diego reliever Mike Adams is third.
The Phils are interested in several other players, but only if they cant swing a deal for Pence, Quentin or Adams. There was talk Thursday that San Diego could be ready to deal outfielder Ryan Ludwick, but it appeared he could be headed to Atlanta.
Though the Phillies like Adams a lot their primary need remains a right-handed hitter to balance out a lefty-heavy lineup and play right field. The need to improve the offense was illustrated Wednesday and Thursday nights as the Phillies suffered consecutive losses to San Francisco. It was the first time that the Phils had lost two games in a row since June 3-4. The Phils were held to just two runs in the two losses and both were unearned.
All three of the Phillies primary target players are under control for next season so their teams are not under urgency to get deals done. All indications are, however, that all three players could be had for the right price. The Phillies dont like making deals for rental players so they like the fact that all three are under control for next season. But that also makes these players very expensive in terms of the talent that the Phillies would have to give up to get them.
Word in baseball circles is that the Phillies are willing to part with some top minor-league talent to get the piece that they think will help them complete their team for a big October run. Sources say that the Phils would be willing to include rightfielder Domonic Brown in the right deal. The team would also be willing to consider dealing top pitching prospect Jarred Cosart and first baseman Jonathan Singleton. Thats some big talent, but the Phils are all-in for 2011. They have the best record in the majors, two Cy Young candidates and a huge payroll of 175 million. Phillies management knows these seasons dont come along every year and it is apparently willing to pay the price needed to fortify the team for a World Series run.
With their existing nucleus, Phillies officials believe they can make a serious push for championships for at least a couple of more seasons after this one. Pence, the Phillies top target, is under control for two more seasons and team officials believe hed be an excellent complement to the existing nucleus. Houston GM Ed Wade has set a very high price for Pence, who is the Astros most popular player. The Astros played in St. Louis on Thursday night and the Phillies had a scout at the game.
Ruben is trying to win a World Series this year, a person with knowledge of the Phillies plan said. Hes being very aggressive trying to get something done.
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