Free Agent Frenzy

By jason keen
Updated: December 3, 2008

Let’s be honest with ourselves here. Just because we won the World effing Series does not mean that we do not need to improve on a few positions across the board. I am one week removed from the happiest sports moment in my life and the only thing I can think about is who is going to be our 5th starter, our starting left fielder, and our catcher.

Outfielder
I am not Pat Gillick or Ruben Amaro but it seems pretty unlikely to me that Rocco Baldelli will come to the Phills. The last thing we need is another left handed batter in the heart of our lineup, giving us three three lefties and Jayson Werth, who may or may not improve battling lefties himself this offseason. It would make more sense for the Phills to go after a switch-hitting Milton Bradley. This would untimately help late in a ball game in certian situations when opposing pitchers would want to bring in a lefty.

It also would not surprise me if the Phills went after Juan Rivera of the LA Angels or Gabe Kapler of the Milwalkee Brewers to give us a strong backup in the outfield as well as a right hand bat off of the bench. As The Angels have some depth in the outfield with Hunter, Guerrero, and Anderson (free agent), they are not likely to sign Rivera. And, the Brewers just gave Cameron $10 million to play in 2009 and will not be needing the likes of Kapler.

Catcher
Although this sounds cynical becuase Carlos Ruiz hit .375 and had an on-base-percentage of .500 in the world series, but the Phills are in dire need of a catcher that not only can field, but can hit too. Ruiz may have been my playoff MVP for his fielding, game calling, and clutch hits throughout each series. It goes to show you that our 8th batter in the lineup can win ballgames. It is not always 1 through 5.

Luckily for the Phills, we have 22 year old Lou Marson coming up quickly in the minor leagues. In 94 games of what was his first professional season, Marson hit .314 with a .433 on-base-percentage. It will be a coin toss if Marson makes the roster. I can just as easily see him getting one more year behind the plate in the minors to improve his fielding before he gets the call.

Starting Pitcher
The Phills are in great position to pick up either a left handed starting pitcher or a right handed starting picther. With two lefties in Hamels and Moyer and two righties in Blanton and Myers, we are one of few teams that has this advantage.

Sure the Phills have J.A. Happ and Kyle Kendrick already battling for our 5th spot. However, it will not hurt to sign a Sheets, Dempster or Peavy and have them battle for the bullpen. Pitching wins championships as we have just witnessed. So, please go out and get one of the following:

Bartolo Colon
Ryan Dempster
John Garland
Freddie Garcia
Livian Hernandez
Orlando Hernandez
Derek Lowe
C.C. Sabathia
Ben Sheets
Randy Wolf
Jake Peavy

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