Waiting Out a Seller's Christmas in July

Waiting Out a Seller's Christmas in July

After spending most of the trade deadlines in our lifetimes wondering which average to above average Phillies might soon end up on a contending team, we've enjoyed the past few seasons on the receiving end. More than just the elation of learning that a specific need-filling ballplayer was on his way to PHL, there was the satisfaction of knowing why. The Phillies have recently been a team for which late July was spent preparing for October. In 2012, we're reminded that's not always a given. 
The Phillies officially became sellers after a weekend series sweep to the Braves, and despite experience to the contrary, the feeling of watching our guys' names show up rumored to be headed elsewhere is alien. On the table are regulars and role players who might better fill a need on a team with fewer of them to fill. Some are guys previously bought this time of year, including one who got to ride on a parade float. Others were brought here to get us back. 
By 4 PM today, a WFC or two could be gone. All eyes will be on Ruben Amaro Jr as we wait to evaluate how strongly he can play while holding a losing hand. 
Joe Blanton appeared to be the closest to gone on trade deadline eve, but talks had already hit several snags. The Baltimore Orioles are 6.5 games behind the Yankees in the AL East and trying to ward off a close pack in the wild card race. They could use an innings eater, and they set their sights on Blanton. His medicals have already been sent. However, the Phils and O's reportedly disagree on how much—if any—salary funding will have to come to Baltimore with him. More than just the cash holdup, Amaro is said to want infielder Jonathan Schoop, Baltimore's third best prospect. Jon Heyman has a source saying the O's are declining to include Schoop. Even if he was never part of a possible package, you can bet you'll read and hear that name again every time fans are unhappy with today's actual returns. 
Blanton's never been the flashiest player in red pinstripes, but his impact when the Phillies ascended to their glory season in 2008 will never be forgotten. At least I hope not. The Phils weren't yet a team built on aces, and Blanton is a good reminder of what we thought at the time was a nice deadline pickup and how our expectations have changed since. Who knew we'd be watching him circle the bases in an October game he'd go on to win? You can probably remember exactly where you were when he did. 
Another WFC who might have already played his last game as a Phillie is Shane Victorino. 
With free agency looming, Vic isn't having what he hoped would be his contract-year production at the plate. Still, more than a few teams are interested in adding the Gold Glove centerfielder/sparkplug with playoff experience. We'll talk more about Vic's tenure as a Phillie if he actually gets dealt, and you can bet it will be a fond sendoff. What kind of return can we hope comes in exchange for the Flyin Hawaiian who once hit a postseason grand slam off of CC Sabathia? The reports have lately been sparse with details, but we're not expecting to be blown away. Early this morning, it seems the Dodgers are a favorite to land his services if he's dealt, according to reports by CBS Sports. Seeing him in that uniform would definitely draw a double-take. 
Last year's trade deadline prize for the Phils was Hunter Pence. We found out he'd be coming to Philadelphia just hours after the Eagles shocked the NFL by acquiring Nnamdi Asomugha. I remember getting texts while at PPL Park for a Union match, then scrolling through twitter and seeing it explode with news that Pence was hugging his Astros teammates in the dugout, saying goodbye after being traded to Philadelphia. One year and one cover of Philadelphia Magazine later, Pence is among those rumored to be on the block today. If so, it is doubtful he'll fetch a return equalling the package that brought him here, which included Jonathan Singleton and Jarred Cosart. Ruben's asking price may be prohibitively high though, keeping Pence here at least until the winter market opens. 
Juan Pierre is getting attention as he keeps his batting average floating above .300. At 35, he'll cost less to acquire and pay for the rest of the season than the other Phillies' outfielders, though he could still be helpful for a team looking to add a bat at the top of the order. Utility man Ty Wigginton might be as attractive to a contender battling or insuring against multiple injuries as he was to the Phillies in the off-season. 
Cliff Lee appears unlikely to be dealt due to his $25 million annual salary, which when originally signed was labeled by some as Lee "taking less to play in Philly." Lee can also block a trade to 2/3 of the league (it is uncertain which teams are on the list), further limiting Ruben's options if indeed he wants to move him. In a losing Phillies season, Lee's salary is seen by some as an albatross to be shed, if possible, and the deal that previously sent Lee out of town is being remembered more vividly than the one that brought him here just before 2009's deadline day. Lee originally became a Phillie along with Ben Francisco in exchange for Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, Jason Knapp, and Lou Marson. He left town in December 2010 for JC Ramirez, Phillippe Aumont, and Tyson Gillies as the Phillies attempted to restock the cupboard. Both deals are solid examples of how hard it can be to judge talent before it nears MLB readiness. Despite a Lee trade having substantial barriers, part of his career destiny seems to be to change uniforms in a surprise move. If the Phillies are going to make a trade that lands them a valuable haul, he's the most likely piece to be headed the other way. Ken Rosenthal turned heads by mentioning Lee and other SP's in the same post as Justin Upton... Phillies Nation digs into the what-if
To date, dealing Major League talent for prospects hasn't been where Ruben Amaro Jr has made his name. Stocked with more cash than most opposing teams and a division-winning roster bearing few holes, he's shown his ability to add major pieces other clubs have made available. Prying away valuable prospects won't be as easy, and who knows if they even pan out. As we wait to hear which if any current Phillies will be shipped off in efforts toward bolstering the 2013-and-beyond rosters, we're hoping he can find a way to give us a makeshift Christmas in July and maybe even "win" at the table again. This year, it seems like a longshot. 
If not, we just hope he doesn't cave to a potential buyer's market and sell for the sake of selling. 

Ex-Penn State officials to be sentenced in June over Sandusky

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Ex-Penn State officials to be sentenced in June over Sandusky

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Sentencing has been scheduled for three former top officials at Penn State University who were convicted of child endangerment in the Jerry Sandusky molestation scandal.

Former university president Graham Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley will be sentenced June 2 in Harrisburg.

Curley and Schultz pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment. Spanier went to trial and was convicted in March. His lawyer said he will appeal.

The convictions stem from their handling of a 2001 complaint about Sandusky apparently molesting a boy in a school shower.

The administrators didn't report the encounter involving the ex-assistant football coach to police or child-welfare authorities.

Sandusky was arrested a decade later. He is serving up to 60 years in prison for sexually abusing 10 boys but is appealing.
 

Hudrick's 2017 NFL mock draft 3.0: Still Barnett or a shift to offense at No. 14?

Hudrick's 2017 NFL mock draft 3.0: Still Barnett or a shift to offense at No. 14?

The 2017 NFL draft is upon us. The Eagles will hold No. 14 overall pick. Here is Paul Hudrick's mock draft 3.0 to get you ready for the 2017 NFL draft in Philadelphia. Hudrick's seven-round Eagles mock 2.0 is here

1. Cleveland Browns - Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M, 6-4/272
If there is actually a debate between Garrett and North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky, everyone in the Browns' front office should be fired. Then again, the Browns have done worse.

2. San Francisco 49ers - Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford, 6-2/273
Sticking with Thomas here. GM John Lynch has his eyes set on defense and head coach Kyle Shanahan has his eyes on Kirk Cousins next offseason.

3. Chicago Bears - Jamal Adams , S, LSU, 6-0/214
Adams is a game-changing safety that you can build your defense around. The Bears have so many holes, they take him because he's the best player on the board.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars - Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU, 6-0/240
So far, my mock hasn't changed from the last one. Fournette adds a physical element to the Jags' offense that vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin will love.

5. Tennessee Titans - Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama, 6-3/286 
Allen only drops because of medical concerns. He's easily one of the top five best players in this draft. He'll make an immediate impact on the Titans' defense.

6. New York Jets - Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State, 6-0/193
Like Allen, the only concern over Lattimore is health. He's had reoccurring issues with his hamstrings, but he has prototypical size and great speed.

7. Los Angeles Chargers - Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State, 6-1/206
Hooker has dropped in some mocks because of his health. I'm not buying it. He's too talented and this is too good of a fit.

8. Carolina Panthers - Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford, 5-11/202 
For the record, this is too rich for my blood, but the McCaffrey hype train seems to be unstoppable. It's not to say McCaffrey won't be an explosive NFL player. He will be.

9. Cincinnati Bengals - Mike Williams, WR, Clemson, 6-4/218 
Mike Williams and A.J. Green will be a scary duo. Especially when you add Pro Bowl tight end Tyler Eifert and second-year pro Tyler Boyd to the mix.

10. Buffalo Bills - Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama, 6-0/229
I know about Foster's red flags. I don't care. He's way too talented to drop out of the top 10 over a couple dumb mistakes. New head coach Sean McDermott has been running his team with a no nonsense approach. I expect Foster to fall in line.

11. New Orleans Saints - TreDavious White, CB, LSU, 5-11/192
This would've been a great spot for Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley, but I don't feel comfortable mocking him in the first round with the recent rape allegations. They take White, an outstanding cover corner from their own backyard.

12. Cleveland Browns - Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina, 6-2/222 
Trubisky winds up on the Browns either at this spot or via a trade. Snagging Garrett and Trubisky would be a nice haul for the Browns.

13. Arizona Cardinals - Pat Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech, 6-2/225
Bruce Arians doesn't really seem to be hiding the fact that the Cardinals are looking for a young quarterback. Mahomes has all the physical traits you're looking for but needs time to develop. He'll be afforded that behind Carson Palmer.

14. Philadelphia Eagles - Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee, 6-3/259
I've had the Eagles taking Barnett in both of my Eagles mocks and in my last two first-round mocks. If Barnett falls here, it's a no-brainer. Barnett adds to Jim Schwartz's pass rush rotation. He's not a freak athlete but he's a complete football player with a high motor. It's always nice when a Hall of Famer agrees with you on your pick.

If Barnett is gone, I love Western Michigan's Corey Davis. He can play on the inside or outside and can be an impact player from Day 1 for Carson Wentz and the Eagles.

15. Indianapolis Colts - Haason Reddick, LB, Temple, 6-1/237 
The Colts need defensive playmakers and Reddick fits that bill. He'll player early downs in the middle, but if I'm the Colts, I allow him to use his pass rushing skills on passing downs from time to time.

16. Baltimore Ravens - O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama, 6-6/251 
Howard could easily go in the top 10. If he falls to Ozzie Newsome, the Hall of Fame tight end will pounce.

17. Washington Redskins - John Ross, WR, Washington, 5-11/188 
They replace DeSean Jackson with a more complete and younger (and maybe even faster) version in Ross.

18. Tennessee Titans - Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan, 6-3/209
This would be an excellent pick for the Titans. Davis has been my favorite receiver for a good chunk of the college season. If he was healthy for the combine and ran a 4.4, he'd probably be a top 10 pick.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State, 5-10/210
There were rumblings that Cook could fall to the second round, but he's too talented of a back to slip that far. He's a perfect fit for Tampa and former teammate Jameis Winston.

20. Denver Broncos - Garrett Bolles, OT, Utah, 6-5/297
It took some serious self debate, but I've come to the conclusion that Bolles is the best offensive tackle in the draft. I love his mean streak more than anything.

21. Detroit Lions - Charles Harris, DE, Missouri, 6-3/253
Harris is a safe pick. I'm not sure the current hype is matching the prospect, but Harris is strong, athletic and has a variety of pass rush moves.

22. Miami Dolphins - Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama, 6-0/197 
I love Humphrey's athletic profile, but his inability to locate the ball in the air scares me. A team may fall in love with his prototypical size and speed and take him earlier.

23. New York Giants - Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin, 6-6/310
Ramczyk allows Ereck Flowers to move to right tackle where he should be more effective.

24. Oakland Raiders - Cam Robinson, OL, Alabama, 6-6/322
I like Robinson more than Ramczyk, but Robinson will be better off starting his career at right tackle or guard.

25. Houston Texans - Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson, 6-2/221
Head coach Bill O'Brien deserves the opportunity to develop a good, young quarterback. The Texans have a strong defense and decent running game. They also have an elite weapon in Deandre Hopkins. Watson will have a chance to succeed.

26. Seattle Seahawks - Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky, 6-4/309
The Seahawks' line needs a lot of help. They snag the best interior lineman in the draft in Lamp.

27. Kansas City Chiefs - Jarrad Davis, MLB, Florida, 6-1/238
Davis is an ideal heir apparent for 34-year-old veteran Derrick Johnson.

28. Dallas Cowboys - Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan, 6-6/277
Charlton makes a ton of sense for the Cowboys. Rod Marinelli seems to like bigger edge rushers and Charlton fits that bill.

29. Green Bay Packers - T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin, 6-4/252
Watt has been getting serious hype over the last week or so. I still think he's a second-round player, but he would be a solid fit for the Packers.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers - DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame, 6-4/233
I love this fit for the Steelers. Kizer has a lot of Ben Roethlisberger-like qualities. He can learn from the sideline and inherit an offense loaded with weapons when Big Ben retires. I'm still of the belief that Kizer has the most upside of any QB in this draft.

31. Atlanta Falcons - Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan, 5-11/213 
Peppers falls because of his diluted test, but Dan Quinn will find a way to get the best out of Peppers' versatility.

32. New Orleans Saints - Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA, 6-2/250
If the Saints don't snag White at 11, USC corner Adoree Jackson could be in play. I'll give them McKinley, a proven rusher to play on the other side of veteran Cameron Jordan.