Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Offseason Wish List

It's the most wonderful time of the year, baseball's offseason! It's like an extra Christmas, where instead of getting awesome presents like pogs, Pokemon cards and TurboGrafx-16, we get great baseball players!

This offseason is extremely important for our Fightin's, as they try to defend their second consecutive National League pennant. With a few shrewd signings and maybe a trade or two, Ruben Amaro Jr. can put this team in the position to make that three-in-a-row.

It's known that the Phillies are going to concentrate on an upgrade at third base and bullpen, while also trying to get another bench bat. So, while I'm no GM, I've hand picked a few moves I'd love to see the Phillies make over the next few months. These moves would almost certainly lead the Phillies back to the playoffs and...well...we all know what they tend to do when they get there.

1) Sign Mark DeRosa. Ok, DeRosa is 35 and his defense isn't quite as stellar as Adrian Beltre's or Chone Figgins, the other big-name third baseman on the market. But his price tag is likely to be less and he won't require the commitment in years the other two will. That should make him a bargain. His wrist has been surgically repaired so he should rebound back to his 2008 and first-half 2009 numbers, which were very good. Plus, he's a local guy and apparently would love to play for the Phillies. That sounds like a guy I'd like to have.

Back-up plan: Adrian Beltre. He'll cost more for longer, but he is younger and should perform well in the Phillies lineup.

2) Sign Justin Duchscherer. Duke's has been extremely injury prone in his career, I know that much. But he's also been very, very good when healthy. I honestly don't know what it will take to sign him, but I'm sure an incentive laden deal will work. Again, he should be a bargain. Oh and he made an All-Star team once as a starter and once as a reliever, so he gives the Phillies flexibility to use him however they need him.

Back-up plan: Rich Harden. He's an injury risk too and will cost much more. But his upside is huge and his swing and miss stuff plays well in the playoffs.

3) Sign Rafael Soriano. The Phillies HAVE to add someone else that is capable of closing games but you don't want to crush Lidge's confidence by signing someone like Jose Valverde (who is only a closer). Soriano shared closing duties last year and may be open to doing so again if the money is right. He won't be cheap but he would give you another power arm in the bullpen who misses bats (12.13 K/9 in 2009). Teaming him with Madson, a healthy J.C. Romero and a rejuvenated (hopefully) Brad Lidge would give the Phillies a much better bullpen in 2010.

Back-up plan: Brandon Lyon. He's not the pitcher that Soriano is, but he was very good for the Tigers last year. However, he can't close, so he'd only be a 7th or 8th inning guy. He will come cheaper though.

Again, these may not be the sexiest names on the market. However, each should be relatively cost effective, leaving the Phillies with plenty of money to resign Cliff Lee and try to keep Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre if they choose. There will also be additional moves, a bench player here or there (maybe Marco Scutaro as a super-sub?), but these three moves are the big ones I'd like to see.

Remember, the Phillies don't need make any crazy moves. This team still has a roster of all-stars and plenty of young talent in the minors. What they need are a few key moves that bolster the roster enough to get back to the World Series.

Now, to fix Cole Hamels...

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