The Phillies are ready to report to spring training with what seems to be a set roster. Yes, the bullpen and bench needs to be battled out, but in general the roster is "complete". Amid a plethora of rumors, Jon "Donut" Lieber and Aaron "Danger" Rowand are still Phillies. I pose the question- what should Gillick do to strengthen the team before April?
1. Keep Lieber. Let him be the 5th starter, because he's actually better than Adam Eaton. Plug Eaton into the bullpen and see if he can help. Then if any starter sees DL time during the season, Eaton is right there to step in. Problem being, Eaton is a pricey reliever, and we're not sure if he'd be able to handle the role shift. In all honesty, signing Eaton was a mistake, but it was done before Gillick pried Freddy Garcia away from the ChiSox, and in turn found no reasonable offers for Lieber...hindsight is 20-20.
2. Trade Lieber for bullpen help or an outfielder. St. Louis, Houston, Washington, Texas, and probably some other clubs will be looking for starting pitching throughout spring training. Otsuka from Texas would be a steal, and Houston has some quality relievers to spare. Washington has Ryan Church on the trading block, who would make a nice platoon with Jayson Werth in RF. The Cubs rotation will prove to be shaky, and Lieber for Jacque Jones wouldn't be out of the question. The only reason we'd need an outfielder is if we trade Rowand and then move Victorino (the better defensive CF) to CF.
3. Keep Rowand. If he could manage to stay healthy for an entire season, he'd put up respectable numbers out of the 6 or 7 hole (.275, 20+ hr, 80+ runs, 80 rbi, and 10+ sb), along with continued fanfare because of his ballsy play.
4. Trade Rowand. I want Scott Linebrink, and if the Padres will swap Rowand for him, then do it!
Since I believe I should be GM, here's what I do- Trade Lieber for Ryan Church and move Rowand for Linebrink.
*Notice how the new acquistions would be sporting the all important facial hair?