Phillies purge, National League contenders improve

The Phillies are throwing in the towel, dishing veterans off and, for the first time in years, looking to build toward the future. In the process, the Nationals' National League competitors are bolstering their rosters for a playoff push. Both the Giants and Dodgers have swung deals to acquire a Phillies outfielder, with San Francisco reportedly trading for Hunter Pence and Los Angeles bringing in Shane Victorino. I'm not sure who the Phillies plan on putting in the outfield over the next three days in the nation's capital, but if you feel like suiting up, give Charlie Manuel a call. The Phillies' skipper could probably use a few more bodies. While one of the Nationals' division rivals is clearly weakened by these deals, both moves could end up impacting the Nats over the next few months. Both the Giants (55-47) and Dodgers (56-48) have positioned themselves to be a major factor down the stretch, and both now have added a proven, talented outfielder with at least some playoff experience. The Dodgers might not yet be done, as multiple reports have suggested that they're likely to land Cubs starter Ryan Dempster prior to the 4 p.m. trade deadline. The Nationals, meanwhile, remain quiet as we sit with under three hours left until the deadline, even as the teams around them are making things happen.
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