Inbox: Will A's trade vets to boost rebuild?

Beat reporter Jane Lee answers fans' questions

Inbox: Will A's trade vets to boost rebuild?

Why don't the A's give Joey Wendle and Renato Nunez legitimate playing time to show they can play and be part of the youth movement? Trade Jed Lowrie, Khris Davis and Marcus Semien for pitching prospects who will be ready for the new stadium.
-- Eddie C., Diggins, Mo.

It's not that simple. While the A's have rid themselves of several veterans this season to make room for the kids, they still have a few seasoned players -- like Lowrie, Davis, Semien and Matt Joyce -- who are under club control and remain an integral part of the mix. They're also not being paid to sit on the bench.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: What will White Sox '18 rotation look like?

Beat reporter Scott Merkin answers fans' questions

Inbox: What will White Sox '18 rotation look like?

Assuming health and good Spring Training, what are the odds that the 2018 rotation starts with Carlos Rodon, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Carson Fulmer and Michael Kopech?
-- Steve, Bettendorf, Iowa

You are three-fifths right, assuming good health, in Lopez, Rodon and Giolito. Also add in veteran James Shields.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Bucs believe they're a piece or two away

Beat reporter Adam Berry answers questions from Pirates fans

Inbox: Bucs believe they're a piece or two away

What exactly is this team? Trending downward and headed toward a rebuild? Or a piece or two (better starting pitching, bullpen) away from being a division/first Wild Card contender?
-- Jonathan, New Florence, Pa.

The Pirates seem to believe it's the latter, because there's no hint of a traditional, tear-down "rebuild." They've tried to compete while introducing a group of young players over the past two years, and most of their current core -- aside from Andrew McCutchen -- is under control through at least 2019.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Who's most trusted to start WC Game?

Beat reporter Bryan Hoch answers Yankees fans' questions

Inbox: Who's most trusted to start WC Game?

If the Yankees find themselves in the American League Wild Card Game, who will manager Joe Girardi hand the ball to?
-- Skylar P., Warren, Vt.

Even though Luis Severino stumbled this week in his first look at the Twins, all indications are that Girardi is still leaning toward handing the young right-hander the ball if the Yankees wind up in a win-or-go-home postseason game, though that's less than certain. The idea behind shifting Severino to Wednesday was that he can now still pitch twice before the end of the regular season, should the Yanks have a chance to catch the Red Sox and avoid the Oct. 3 AL Wild Card Game altogether.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Spot for Ichiro on '18 Marlins?

Beat reporter Joe Frisaro answers questions from fans

Inbox: Spot for Ichiro on '18 Marlins?

Ichiro Suzuki has done everything he's been asked this year. Classy person, well-respected teammate. Is there a spot for him next year with the Marlins?
-- @fsutody

This will be an interesting decision for the prospective new ownership group of Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. The Marlins have a $2 million club option on Ichiro for 2018. An iconic and immensely popular player, Ichiro will turn 44 on Oct. 22. This season, he's had the fewest at-bats of his career, by far -- just 187 -- and he's hitting .262 with a .327 on-base percentage.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Should Mets tender offer to Harvey?

Beat reporter Anthony DiComo answers fans' questions

Inbox: Should Mets tender offer to Harvey?

The Mets were mathematically eliminated from postseason contention last week, ensuring they won't reach the playoffs for the ninth time in the past 11 seasons. But that does not necessarily sap the rest of the intrigue from this season. There's still plenty of interesting things to watch as the 2017 campaign draws to a close, including several that inspired questions in this week's Inbox:

Why do the Mets believe that tendering an offer to Matt Harvey for 2018 makes sense financially? Can't his salary be better spent elsewhere?
-- @HowardJHerman via Twitter

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will 2018 be a rebuilding year?

Beat reporter Mark Bowman fields fans' questions

Inbox: Will 2018 be a rebuilding year?

Does the front office view 2018 as a year of development for the young players or do you expect them to make moves in order to contend?
-- @timhall89

Ownership and some executives might be tempted to make a big splash via free agency or a trade this winter in an effort to not only avoid what would be a fifth straight losing season, but to also possibly make a run toward the postseason.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Does Wisdom fit in the Cards' future?

Beat reporter Jenifer Langosch answers questions from St. Louis fans

Inbox: Does Wisdom fit in the Cards' future?

ST. LOUIS -- While the Cardinals spend their final off-day of the regular season in Cincinnati, let's take a dive into some of the topics currently on your mind. A reminder that if you submit a question for future Inbox consideration, please also include your name and hometown.

What is the status of Patrick Wisdom? Why has he not been called up?
-- Barry B., St. Louis

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: How will Astros' rotation look in playoffs?

Beat reporter Brian McTaggart answers questions from fans

Inbox: How will Astros' rotation look in playoffs?

HOUSTON -- Now that the Astros have clinched the American League West title, they'll turn their attention to recapturing the best record in the AL, which means passing the Indians. Houston is 1 1/2 games behind the Indians with 13 games remaining (the Indians have 12).

If the Astros can grab the top spot in the AL, they would not only have home-field advantage in the Division Series and League Championship Series, but they would play the Wild Card Game winner in the Division Series, which figures to be a more favorable matchup than facing the Red Sox.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Angels OK if Upton becomes free agent

Beat reporter Maria Guardado answers fans' questions

Inbox: Angels OK if Upton becomes free agent

Even if we do secure a Wild Card spot, what do you believe are the chances of Justin Upton staying next season?
-- @JDeGeytere via Twitter

It's an interesting question, and one that I don't think will become entirely clear until the end of the season. I'm sure Upton's level of comfort in Anaheim will factor into his decision, but I think the greater consideration will be whether his camp believes a bigger payday awaits in the free-agent market. If he doesn't opt out, the Angels will owe Upton $88.5 million over the next four years. That's a significant sum, but Upton is also enjoying his finest offensive season to date, batting .280 with a .913 OPS with 31 home runs and a career-high 103 RBIs, so it's not unrealistic to think he could land a better offer as a free agent. The Halos obviously understood that when they acquired him, so they're prepared for either scenario.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Dyson return to Seattle in 2018?

Beat reporter Greg Johns answers questions from Mariners fans

Inbox: Will Dyson return to Seattle in 2018?

What's going on with Jarrod Dyson and is there any chance he returns to the Mariners next year?
-- Phil R., Bainbridge Island, Wash.

The speedy center fielder underwent sports hernia surgery last Wednesday, with the procedure performed by Philadelphia-based specialist Dr. William Meyers, the same physician who did Robinson Cano's double-hernia surgery two years ago.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Robles fit in Nats' playoff picture?

Beat reporter Jamal Collier fields questions from Nationals fans

Inbox: Will Robles fit in Nats' playoff picture?

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals just got a look at the Dodgers during a three-game series this past weekend at Nationals Park, and although they dropped two of the three games, they can be inspired by their showing Sunday night. It was Washington's biggest matchup remaining on the regular-season calendar as the Nats continue gearing up for the postseason.

There are still a few unanswered questions remaining in this week's Nationals inbox, starting with the Nationals' top prospect -- who has looked impressive during his brief amount of playing time in Washington -- and if he fits in come playoff time.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Does value of HRs offset average?

Beat reporter T.R. Sullivan fields Texas fans' questions

Inbox: Does value of HRs offset average?

Do you think the long ball offsets a good average? I, for one, would rather lead the league in average than in home runs.
-- Bob M., Arlington

The Rangers need tough outs. Alex Rodriguez and Adrian Beltre were/are power hitters. Rusty Greer and Michael Young were not. But they are four of the best hitters in Rangers history because they were tough outs. They battled pitchers and didn't give away at-bats.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Has Hech replaced Duffy as future SS?

Beat reporter Bill Chastain fields Rays fans' questions

Inbox: Has Hech replaced Duffy as future SS?

With Matt Duffy being out for the whole year and Adeiny Hechavarria playing well in the field and at the plate, would it be safe to say that Duffy is a man without a position? It seems that if he is ever healthy, he's going to be a utility player at best.
-- Terence L.

I would agree with that assessment on the surface. Hechavarria has performed well on offense and at shortstop. Having said that, he is arbitration-eligible and stands to make more than his 2017 salary of $4.35 million. Given that fact, the Rays will be faced with the decision of whether to bring Hechavarria back at the increased salary. They might opt to take their chances with Duffy being healthy and No. 2 prospect Willy Adames jumping to The Show. It should be interesting to see which way they go.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: What's in store for the Royals' rotation?

Beat reporter Jeff Flanagan answers fans' questions

Inbox: What's in store for the Royals' rotation?

KANSAS CITY -- With 13 games to go, the Royals remain on the outer edge of postseason contention.

Kansas City is five games behind Minnesota for the second American League Wild Card spot, and realistically the Royals can't afford to lose more than two or three games if they are to avoid elimination.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Athletics bring Lowrie back?

Beat reporter Jane Lee fields A's fans' questions

Inbox: Will Athletics bring Lowrie back?

Jed Lowrie has always been consistent in Oakland. Can we expect to see him back next year?
-- Erik C., Antioch, Calif.

I suspect the answer is yes. Lowrie has been so consistently productive this year that it seems the A's are planning on picking up his club option for the 2018 season, even with their top prospect, Franklin Barreto, ready to take over second-base duties. No A's hitter has been more reliable than Lowrie over the course of this year, and he's also looked better defensively.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: What would 'pen look like for WC Game?

Beat reporter Steve Gilbert answers fans' questions

Inbox: What would 'pen look like for WC Game?

We've got quite a full Inbox this week, filled once again with postseason questions, but also a couple that look ahead to 2018. We're going to be doing a few more of these over the next couple of weeks, so please continue to email or tweet your questions to me. The more I get, the more I'll answer.

Now on to the questions:

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: What lies ahead for Rangers' rotation?

Beat reporter T.R. Sullivan answers fans' questions

Inbox: What lies ahead for Rangers' rotation?

Who besides Andrew Cashner should the Rangers target to fill out the rotation?
-- Richard G., New York

It appears that Japanese pitcher Shohei Ohtani will be coming to the United States next season. The 23-year-old is considered the best pitcher to come out of Japan -- move over Hideo Nomo, Yu Darvish and Daisuke Matsuzaka -- and missing much of the season because of injuries does not seem to have dampened the frenzy.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Panda be Giants' starting 3B in '18?

Beat reporter Chris Haft answers questions from Giants fans

Inbox: Will Panda be Giants' starting 3B in '18?

Do you think the Giants intend to start Pablo Sandoval at third base in 2018?
-- Gene S., Medford, N.Y.

I doubt anyone knows whether Sandoval can crack the Giants' 2018 lineup. However, I do think he'll receive an invitation to big league Spring Training next year. Since the Red Sox remain responsible for paying Sandoval the $18 million he's guaranteed next season, money won't be an issue. Sandoval's standing with the Giants next season will come down to whether he can revive bat, which has been mostly dormant since the start of 2016. To some extent, he's still shaking off rust, having appeared in three games last season.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: What are Brewers' plans for rotation?

Beat reporter Adam McCalvy answers fans' questions

Inbox: What are Brewers' plans for rotation?

Prediction for the rotation the rest of season?
-- @Cohete009 on Twitter

I predict unpredictability. The Brewers waited until Friday morning to say that Jeremy Jeffress would start that night's game against the Marlins at Miller Park. It was to be another "bullpen day," which the Brewers have already pulled off twice in recent weeks, piecing together innings behind Brent Suter as he builds back to full strength from a stint on the disabled list.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Roberts bench Granderson?

Beat reporter Ken Gurnick fields Dodgers fans' questions

Inbox: Will Roberts bench Granderson?

How long of a leash does Curtis Granderson have before the Dodgers turn to other options like Joc Pederson, Alex Verdugo, etc.? 
-- Raul Galindo @Ruli_24

When manager Dave Roberts said Thursday that Enrique Hernandez would be playing left field against left-handed pitching going forward, it signaled that Granderson had lost lefty-on-lefty starts. That said, the Dodgers didn't trade for Granderson to bench him. Roberts is still using words like "streaky" to describe Granderson's current woes, implying there's a hot streak in there, and management will continue to provide an opportunity for it to emerge against right-handed pitchers.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Bucs try Glasnow in bullpen?

Beat reporter Adam Berry fields Pirates fans' questions

Inbox: Will Bucs try Glasnow in bullpen?

The Pirates were off Thursday, resting before the first of their final 15 games this season. As they continue to look toward 2018, we will do the same in the latest Pirates Inbox.

Do you think Tyler Glasnow in the bullpen could work? Like a one-inning guy, maybe a setup guy to Felipe Rivero if it works.
-- Guy B., Winston-Salem, N.C.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Rays' postseason chances dwindling?

Beat reporter Bill Chastain answers questions from fans

Inbox: Rays' postseason chances dwindling?

Right now, it's not looking so good for the Rays' chances of making the postseason. What do you think went wrong?
-- Brad S., Jacksonville, Fla.

First, this year's team was starting from a pretty low place -- 68 wins. As the old saying goes, "You are what your record says you are." So first, you think about improving. Then once the Rays began playing some pretty good baseball this season, the idea of winning the division and, at the very least, earning a postseason spot seemed real. Credit Tampa Bay's management for making some moves to try to push the team over the top, too.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: What are Padres' plans at shortstop?

Beat reporter AJ Cassavell answers fans' questions

Inbox: What are Padres' plans at shortstop?

What is the plan at shortstop for 2018? Fernando Tatis Jr. is still a ways away. Are we still looking for a rental? Is Erick Aybar an option for '18 again?
-- Bryan A., San Diego

It wouldn't be a Padres offseason without question marks surrounding the future at shortstop. The 2017 campaign certainly tipped the scales in favor of Tatis winning that spot eventually. At 18, he set the single-season homer record with Class A Fort Wayne. Then Tatis made the jump to Double-A San Antonio, where he held his own. He is No. 55 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, and he is ranked fourth on San Diego's Top 30 Prospects list.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Can Correa heat up down the stretch?

Beat reporter Brian McTaggart answers questions from fans

Inbox: Can Correa heat up down the stretch?

HOUSTON -- It's been four days since we last dipped into the Inbox, and it was a weekend to forget for the Astros. They were swept in four games by the A's in Oakland on the heels of a seven-game winning streak, getting outscored 41-15 in the process.

The streaking Indians have passed the Astros for the best record in the American League, but the Astros could still clinch the AL West as soon as Friday, and they could do it at home. With three weeks left in the season, there's time for them to find their stride heading into the playoffs.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Bryce be ready for postseason?

Beat reporter Jamal Collier answers fans' questions

Inbox: Will Bryce be ready for postseason?

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals have wrapped up the National League East. They became the first team to secure a postseason berth in 2017 and will make consecutive postseason appearances for the first time in franchise history.

Now that the champagne has dried from the celebration, it's time for a Nationals Inbox as the march toward the postseason begins.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Kemp be moved for Acuna in '18?

Beat reporter Mark Bowman answers questions from fans

Inbox: Will Kemp be moved for Acuna in '18?

Who do you think is more likely to be moved to make room for Ronald Acuna?
-- @TheBDanAbstract

Though there could be some long-term financial or "controllable" benefits to waiting until May or June, let's just assume Acuna will essentially force the Braves to place him on their Opening Day roster. Whose spot in the lineup he takes will be determined as general manager John Coppolella spends this offseason tackling the challenge of attempting to trade one of his veteran corner outfielders -- Nick Markakis or Matt Kemp.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: How will Cards handle closer duties?

Beat reporter Jenifer Langosch answers questions from fans

Inbox: How will Cards handle closer duties?

ST. LOUIS -- After an overwhelming response to last week's Cardinals Inbox, I grabbed another batch of your questions to answer today. Remember that if you submit a question for future consideration, please include your name and hometown along with it.

With the surge the Cardinals have been on, a playoff spot is clearly within reach. But how do you see the relievers being utilized over the next three weeks and into October? Do we have a set closer? Or is Mike Matheny going to utilize whoever he thinks fits the situation best at hand?
-- Ellis B., Creve Coeur, Mo.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Has Nimmo earned spot with Mets in '18?

Beat reporter Anthony DiComo answers fans' questions

Inbox: Has Nimmo earned spot with Mets in '18?

As the season winds down, roster issues continue to take center stage in Flushing. Plenty of players are jockeying for position heading into the offseason, knowing performance down the stretch can often be more impactful than performance in Spring Training.

Several players in particular have a lot on the line in September. This week's Mets Inbox takes a look at some of their situations.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Should Phils shake up infield with trades?

Beat reporter Todd Zolecki answers fans' questions

Inbox: Should Phils shake up infield with trades?

Is there too much risk trading Cesar Hernandez or Freddy Galvis before J.P. Crawford wins a job or Scott Kingery has a single plate appearance in the big leagues?
-- Richard S., France

There is risk in trading an established veteran to make room for an unproven commodity like Crawford or Kingery. Prospects are just prospects, no matter how highly they are regarded. Remember that Baseball America once considered Domonic Brown the No. 1 prospect in baseball. Mike Trout ranked second in its 2010 midseason rankings. (Despite a growing legend, the Phillies weren't the only team in baseball that believed Brown was a future superstar.) And remember names like Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor, Jason Donald, Lou Marson, Jason Knapp, Anthony Gose, Tyson Gillies and Phillippe Aumont? The Phils either traded or acquired these highly-regarded prospects, but none had the big league careers most anticipated.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.