The Philadelphia Phillies have been pretty busy after their offseason got off to a slow start. Trades brought a centerfielder and a third baseman. Two weekend signings shored up the 8th inning in the bullpen with Mike Adams and added a veteran arm to the back end of the starting rotation with John Lannan. One hole remains unfilled.
The Phillies will probably sign a corner outfielder some time in the near future. The two most likely choices would be Nick Swisher and Cody Ross. Both would bring the team some power, and both would represent upgrades for the Phillies. How much of an upgrade remains to be seen. There is also the rumor that hit earlier this week that had the Phillies attempting to trade Domonic Brown for Alfonso Soriano, though the rumor has since cooled.
So that’s where we stand. The question is, as always, is this good enough?
There were various reasons for the Phillies to be wary of Josh Hamilton. In the end, the 5 year deal he signed with the Angels may have been too much of a commitment, and may come back to bite the Angels later. Time will tell. The only given with Hamilton is that he would have been a bona fide difference maker for the Phillies. No matter who they end up with now, they will not bring the kind of production that Hamilton could have.
Ben Revere and Michael Young are significant upgrades. Mike Adams has been one of the best relievers in baseball for the past 5 years. John Lannan can easily replicate the production of Vance Worley or Joe Blanton.
Still, the Phillies lack the additional power they were hoping to add. Darin Ruff may be able to add some, but how much production will be a big question.
Both Nick Swisher and Cody Ross are capable of 20+ home runs per season, but they will come at a premium price since outfielder values have been driven up by Shane Victorino, BJ Upton and Josh Hamilton’s deals. It also may limit their in-season flexibility at the trade deadline. The Phillies have about $8 million left to spend under the luxury tax threshold. That may be closer to Ross’s price range.
There’s no doubt the Phillies are better than how they entered the offseason. I’m not sure they’re enough to beat the Braves and Nationals for the NL East?
Adding a corner outfielder will come at expense of Ruf or Brown for Phillies
Phillies hot stove already warming – A look at early outfield rumors
Is Ruben Amaro Jr. saving his pennies for Josh Hamilton?
Vick and Reid’s future rests on Nick Foles arm
Can Ruben Amaro Jr. put the Phillies back together again?