It's only the beginning of the offseason and the Hot Stove has barely stoked its fire. I've been all over the Phillies blogsphere and have read many good ideas for "fixing" the Phils for 2007. We all are aware that we need a 5th starter, some bullpen help, more production at 3rd, and to sort out our outfield mess. Therefore, I decided to start an ongoing discussion thread/poll for roster moves this winter. You'll notice I didn't include options such as Barry Zito as 5th starter, A-Rod at 3rd, or Manny for the outfield because I'm attempting to be realistic. Please vote in each poll and give your 2 cents in the comments section.
Relief pitchers can be a costly mistake (Tim Worrell) or enormously sound investment (Mike Stanton). They tend to be inconsistent from year to year and paying them premium salaries is risky business. The Phils currently have Flash, Madson, and Geary assured spots in the pen. Mike Smith, Castro, Condrey, Brito, and Sanches will be in the mix for a job too. Fultz and Rick White may be retained or let go, either way no big loss or gain. What we need are some dependable arms that can work 3 consecutive days if needed. We could always plug the holes with Jose Mesa, Ryan Franklin, and Arthur Rhodes...I heard they're free agents and loved the Philly fans.
This is an area of great debate. Sign Soriano to a ludicrous contract? Trade Burrell and/or Rowand? Conine, Roberson, and Bourn will most likely receive bench duty. David Dellucci will probably be offered arbitration, but will sign elsewhere. The outfielders don't necessarily need to be defensive minded, with the exception of the spacious centerfield. I know some golden oldies that might be willing to come out of hibernation- Chamberlain, Incaviglia, Eisenreich, Dykstra, and Milt would be able to rotate enough to stay fresh.
The popular notion is to retain Wolf, but it looks as though Wolf is ready to leave Philly. The rotation already consists of Myers, Hamels, Lieber, and Moyer. Not flashy, but deep nonetheless. The Phils could always go the cheap way and rush one of the heralded prospects to the Show. What we need from the 5th starter is consistency, innings, a chance to win the ball game. Just as long as we don't try Adam Bernero, Gavin Floyd, Chad Ogea, or Kyle or Paul Abbott (yep, that's right the Phils managed to get screwed by 2 Abbotts).
If you read this blog regularly you know our disdain for No-Hit Nunez, yet he remains an option to start at 3rd next season. Aramis Ramirez was my wet dream for 3rd, but that was just a fairy tale. Mark DeRosa was also just taken off the table from those same pesky Cubbies. None of these options are exciting, but each has its positives and negatives. Defense is nice at the hot corner, but it does not outweigh offensive production. Maybe we can coax Schmidt, Charlie Hayes, Kim Batiste, and Rick Schu out of retirement and form the ultimate platoon.
If I missed any viable options, please add in the comments section.