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Morning Report: Blockbuster trade for the Phillies?

If the Phillies come up a game or two short in the pennant race this September, they will deeply regret the non-events of this weekend.

If the Phillies come up a game or two short in the pennant race this September, they will deeply regret the non-events of this weekend.

If all the reports swirling around the team are correct, the Phillies might have had Colorado slugger Matt Holliday and lefthanded reliever Brian Fuentes - acquisitions that would certify their status as serious World Series contenders.

Multiple reports had the blockbuster trade going down but, according to Foxsports, it couldn't be finalized.

Word had leaked out of Bowie, Md., last week that the Rockies had been sitting on the Reading Phillies for four days, checking the parent club's top Double A prospects.

A source told Morning Report that pitching prospect Carlos Carrasco would have to be included in the deal, and that the Rockies also wanted centerfielder Shane Victorino.

According to Foxsports, the deal would also have cost the Phillies Lou Marson (a top catching prospect) and starting pitcher J.A. Happ.

Whatever the holdup (possibly that Fuentes is headed for free agency regardless) it would behoove the Phillies to rethink this.

Holliday and Fuentes put them over the top this fall and Holliday - who is signed through 2009 - solves two other problems.

First, he innoculates the Phillies against losing potential free agent Pat Burrell at the end of the current season. Second, he provides an insurance policy should Ryan Howard opt for free agency in two more years.

One scenario would be to let Burrell walk and find a place to move Brett Myers. That would free up about $26 million which could be used to sign Holliday, who would bat between Howard and Chase Utley in a genuinely scary lineup.

Another scenario is to sign Burrell, move Howard to the AL for a top (and it would have to be a top pitcher), then play Burrell at first.

The pie-in-the-sky scenario is to keep all three.

No matter how you slice it, Holliday would deliver some great flexibility.

Get him now and the lineup looks like this: Jayson Werth in center; 2007 MVP Jimmy Rollins at short; potential 2008 MVP Utley at second; 2007 MVP runnerup Holliday in right; 2006 MVP Howard at first; a rejuvated Burrell in left; Pedro Feliz at third; Carlos Ruiz catching, and a very grateful pitcher batting ninth.

Make the deal Pat Gillick. Rent Fuentes; trade the prospects; break the bank. This deal puts the Phillies in the World Series.

And as the Cardinals found out in 2006, you never know what can happen when you get there.

Just wondering. Is Greg Norman from Philadelphia?

Humor. Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia was dismayed to learn from reporters that the Spectrum will be demolished next year.

Scioscia, who graduated from Springfield (Delco) in 1976 and was a hardcore Flyers fan during two successful Stanley Cup runs, told the Associated Press with a smile that he would chain himself to the arena to keep it from being torn down.