Why the Red Sox and Phillies should sell

The Phillies might think about dealing Cole Hamels this summer if they can't extend him. Howard Smith/US Presswire

Both the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies are unaccustomed to approaching the July 31 trade deadline as “sellers.” And yet, that’s perhaps their best course of action.

Despite extremely slow starts, the two teams still have enough collective talent to contend for at least wild-card berths this season. A couple of winning streaks and the Red Sox or Phillies could find themselves back in the thick of a division race. And their places in the standings might determine whether the sell or buy. Understandably, the allure of going on a late-season run can motivate a team’s front office to acquire players rather than trade them for prospects. If they’re deep in the hunt, these two proud teams will jump in.

But if they’re on the fringe, both organizations have to take a hard look at where their teams are and the direction in which they are heading. They might consider being sellers instead and use the opportunity to retool their teams for the long-term rather than considering the short-term and trying to win the World Series this year. Such an effort could come at the expense of long-term improvement over the next several years.