By Jared Trexler
The Phanatic Magazine
The Philadelphia Phillies are desperate for bullpen help. So desperate, they may trade their feel-good story of 2006.
A source told The Phanatic Magazine Thursday that talk around the league has the Phillies entered into discussions with the St. Louis Cardinals about the possibility of a Chris Coste-Ricardo Rincon swap. That rumor -- one of what appears to be several on Pat Gillick's stove as Opening Day approaches -- makes sense following Delco-Times staff writer Dennis Deitch's proposition Thursday that the Phillies best bargaining chip in search for bullpen help could be Carlos Ruiz.
Phillies brass may feel Coste is the better chip, or maybe even outfielder Michael Bourn. In Wednesday's Rumor Mill, Phillies message board were talking about the possibility of a Bourn-Taylor Tankersley trade with the Marlins. Research we've done shows Tankersley's health is still in question, and there was no mention of such a trade in today's editions of the Inquirer or Daily News.
However, there has been talk about Francisco Rosario, a pitcher in camp with the Toronto Blue Jays. It is possible the Phillies may be waiting to see if Rosario doesn't make the 25-man roster, sending him to waivers where they could scoop him up. Rosario has had an excellent Spring with the Blue Jays after a 1-2 record with a high 6.65 ERA in just 17 games for Toronto last season.
Back to the beginning, Rincon missed most of last season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff. The left-handed specialist was a workhouse for Oakland in both 2004 and 2005, appearing in 67 games each season. He posted a 3.68 ERA in 44 innings during the 2004 season.
At the moment, Matt Smith -- acquired in the Bobby Abreu trade with the Yankees last summer -- is the only southpaw in the bullpen.