After a Pair of Deals, Phillies Still Have Work to Be Done
The winter meetings have come to a close and the Phillies made a few moves to change the look of their team, making moves to bring in center fielder Ben Revere and third baseman Michael Young, which was announced officially Saturday. In exchange the Phillies lost a couple of pitchers, including Vance Worley and Josh Lindblom, plus minor league arms Trevor May and Lisalverto Bonilla.
So how did the Phillies do in their two deals? ESPN.com senior baseball analyst Keith Law told the Sports Bash:
"I rather they do what they did (acquire Revere over singing Michael Bourn or bring back Shane Victorino) They are better off taking a lesser player in Revere then taking on a player they aren't comfortable with financially."
While some people like the moves the Phillies made so far, a lot of baseball people are waiting for the Phillies to make another move.
"I like this move in isolation, but it doesn't make them a contender again," Law stated. "Look at the Nationals and the Braves, they both made themselves better this off-season, so if the Phillies want to get back into contention, they are going to have to make other moves. They still need another outfielder and they do need pitching depth. Even with Worley's issues last year,he did provide them with a lot of innings and they just don't have pitching depth, they don't have guys in their system that are ready to step in on opening day, so that is an essential next step if they want to be contenders this season."
Work to change this team will continue, just not in such a public place as the Gaylord Opryland Resort. Big names are still on the board and the Phillies will keep an eye on these players as they continue to pursue trades. The meetings are over; the offseason moves are not.
The Phillies still need a bat, preferably a right-handed power bat to play in the outfield. They would like to add a starting pitcher to replace Worley who was traded to the Twins in the Revere deal. They may need a bullpen arm after losing Lindblom in the Young deal.
Is there help via trade? Will we see Ruben Amaro Jr. make a multi-player deal like the Revere deal? Is there another Cliff Lee deal out there with an impact player who's name isn't linked to the Phillies, surprising people by coming here (Josh Hamilton)? We didn't see any of these off-season deals coming. Will we be surprised again?
While quite a bit got done early this year things have slowed down a bit as teams waited to see where Zack Greinke went. If you believe that the Phillies really are in on Hamilton then this may or may not be important. Some believe that he doesn't really want to goto Seattle, where it seems he is linked to the most right now.With Greinke going to the Dodgers and passing on the Rangers, does that mean Texas now brings Hamilton back? Many felt that Texas could not afford to bring back Hamilton if they signed Greinke. Some have suggested that the Rangers prefer to acquire Justin Upton from the Diamondbacks rather than bring Hamilton back. At that point Hamilton would not be left with a lot of options. Or perhaps he would be.
Does the Phillies deal for Young, coupled with already having Lee make them a favorite to land Hamilton maybe at a cheaper price or with less years? ESPN.com senior baseball analyst Keith Law says it's not as big of a conspiracy theory as it may sound.
"Hamilton's situation is very different," explained Law. "Because of his off-the-field issues, I could understand those type of intangible factors being more important to Hamilton than they would to most free agents. He has to know that he is entering a team that has a support network, where he will be comfortable . Hamilton is one of the more unusual free agents to hit the market."
(Listen to full Keith Law Interview)
As for when Hamilton might decide on his new team and sign a deal?
"I'm going to guess that he has a deal by Christmas," Law predicted. "Most winter meetings you'll see more activity (as opposed to this one in Nashville), Nashville isn't a great environment for meetings, but there was enough ground-work laid to get things going"
Tis the season of the hot stove..What do you think of the Phillies off-season moves so far and what would you like to see happen next?