Phillies are done trading major pieces of their team

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WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 10: Odubel Herrera #37 and J.P. Crawford #2 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrate after scoring in the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 10: Odubel Herrera #37 and J.P. Crawford #2 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrate after scoring in the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /
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Phillies fans continue to wonder if anyone on the team will be traded to pick up prospects, but it’s unlikely they start dealing any major pieces.

The Phillies used a series of trades to jump-start their rebuild a few years ago, namely trading Cole Hamels to the Rangers among several others.

Now that it has been a few years, we are starting to see the fruits of this rebuild bloom in the majors. Jerad Eickhoff, Jorge Alfaro, Jake Thompson, and Nick Williams have all made it to the major-leagues with varying degrees of success. In addition, players from other trades like Zach Eflin, Ben Lively, and Vince Velasquez have all made it to the majors with others still developing as prospects.

Plus, there are still the prospects that were drafted or signed by the team like J.P. Crawford, Rhys Hoskins, and Aaron Nola making an impact in the majors with more being brought into the system each year.

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With all these pieces starting to fit together, rumors are still swelling about some players that could be moved. The argument is that these core pieces could fetch a solid prospect return to help turn this team around.

However, we are starting to reach the point in the rebuild where we have to stop the turnover and start assembling a contending team. The pieces are starting to come together and there’s no reason to trade them now and kick the can down the road.

The calls to trade Odubel Herrera come every time he makes a mental gaffe, but he leads all team hitters in fWAR this season and has been among one of the best hitters in the league in the second half with a 183 wRC+. If Philadelphia really had the intention of trading him, they wouldn’t have given him a long-term extension last offseason.

Not to mention, Dave Cameron of Fangraphs has made the case that Aaron Nola should be traded because of his injury history. This is what he wrote about Nola before the trade deadline in Fangraphs’ trade value rankings:

"When healthy, Nola has been very good, and at times looks like one of the best starting pitchers in baseball. But his arm has hurt more often than you want, and the results haven’t always matched the peripherals. There’s a lot of risk here, and the stuff isn’t necessarily top-shelf, so the upside might be more good pitcher than great one."

Cameron pointed towards an extensive history of arm injuries, but Nola has had one arm injury during his career, and he returned this season without any elbow issues. He did spend a month on the disabled list with a back strain, but that is by no means an arm issue and he hit the ground running after returning from that injury.

Nola’s 3.8 fWAR is 12th-highest and his 3.27 fielding-independent pitching ranks 10th among qualified pitchers this season. It’s safe to say he has been much more than a good pitcher this season.

Plus, the Phillies can’t afford to get rid of Nola with the rest of the rotation a complete question mark this season.

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Trade speculation has also circled around Hoskins and others, but there is no point in trading them when they provide so much value and excitement for Phils fans. The 76ers have made us think that every time we get a good player during a rebuild, they immediately have to trade them to acquire future assets.

The only major contributor that could conceivably be traded this offseason is second baseman Cesar Hernandez. He led the team in fWAR last season and is second this season to Herrera with 4.3 last year and 2.6 this year. He has been an effective leadoff hitter, hitting .289 with a .360 on-base percentage this season.

In a normal circumstance I would definitely say to keep Hernandez, but the fact that both Scott Kingery and Crawford should be major-league contributors next season gives enough confidence that Hernandez can be moved without creating a production void. That could help bolster a lackluster rotation for next season and beyond.

Next: Phillies release 2018 season schedule

While big-time trades are fun and exciting, the Phillies are probably past that point as they try to assemble a winning team from the pieces they have on the board right now.

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