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Philadelphia Phillies: Why They Should Wait to Pursue Another Outfielder

The Philadelphia Phillies have an outfield full of talented yet inexperienced players, and many fans want to see the club sign or trade for a proven veteran in order to balance the roster.

But would this be a smart move?

First, let’s look at the talent still available in the market. According to MLBtraderumors, there are still a decent number of outfielders unsigned, but only a few could offer value to the Phillies.

Scott Hairston, Austin Kearns, Delmon Young and Kosuke Fukudome are left in the free-agent pool and might offer the team some limited help. But with this group of available talent, the Phillies should slowly tiptoe away from any deals.

Todd Zolecki of reported Ruben Amaro Jr. is looking for a potential outfielder to sign in order to stir competition among players, much like restaurant owners who overstaff servers.  The better server earns more shifts.

Now this is not a bad theory, but it is an unnecessary one. Philadelphia has a nice foundation of young players in the outfield, who may be successful for many seasons.

The Phils should also stay away from trades before the season begins. Yes, there are big names  mentioned like Justin Upton, but the club would have to give up a lot of talent for a player of his caliber—talent the team cannot afford to lose.

The club could potentially look at another reliever, but overall, the roster should be set for spring training. It’s time to let the kids run out and enjoy a major league season at full speed. With the youth in the outfield and aging veterans manning the infield, the Phillies have a nice balance in the lineup.

Darin Ruf, Domonic Brown and newcomer Ben Revere all have potential to be big players in the league, but need to take their games to the next level and own their positions.

Now, if at midseason the Phillies are terrible, mediocre or pushing for the playoffs, that would be the time for a trade.  Under those circumstances, at least the youngsters would be given a chance to prove their abilities—and the club would be able to properly evaluate their talents. 

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Philadelphia Phillies Strive to Strengthen Pitching Staff

The Philadelphia Phillies have potentially signed two key pitchers in recent days.  According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, the Phillies have likely reached a multi-year agreement with free-agent setup man Mike Adams. Then moments later, Jim Salisbury of reported the Phillies have potentially signed free-agent starter John Lannan to a one-year deal, pending a physical.

In an instant, the Phillies have upgraded their starting rotation and bullpen.

After their trade for Michael Young, I wrote an article asking what positions the Phillies should focus on filling. The conclusion, starting and relief pitching.

The Phillies did just that.

With the possible addition of both pitchers, the club would be keeping pace with the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves for supremacy in the NL East. 

Earlier in the week, Matt Gelb of reported Ruben Amaro Jr. was looking for a low-risk, high-reward pitcher and Lannan fit the bill. The lefty starter would serve as a possible fourth or fifth starter with an ability to eat innings. Any major league team would benefit from this talent.

It was also no surprise the club pursued a reliever, specifically a setup man. Many Phillies’ fans expressed interest in Mike Adams and the organization delivered.  The former Texas Ranger had one of his worst seasons last year, but the Phillies saw potential to strengthen their pen. Adams and Phillies’ closer Jonathan Papelbon would be a filthy one-two combo.

The Phillies still have money to sign a veteran corner outfielder and should continue to pursue the spot, but we have to commend Amaro Jr. for filling holes in the lineup and not breaking the bank. All moves this offseason have been precise and indicate the team’s direction—chasing a championship next season and in the seasons to come. 

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Why the Philadelphia Phillies Should Not Pursue Alfonso Soriano

The Philadelphia Phillies still need a corner outfielder and Alfonso Soriano is not the answer.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports reported the Phillies have potentially discussed a deal with the Chicago Cubs sending Soriano to Philly in return for youngster Domonic Brown.

While the Phillies do need some right-handed pop in their lineup, this would be a step in the wrong direction.

The club recently traded for another aging veteran, Michael Young, who will serve as the Phillies’ everyday third baseman. In that case, shipping out youth for experience made sense. Young struggled last season, but he is an instant upgrade for the Phillies. The free agent market was limited at third and high-profile trades were nearly impossible to execute. Essentially, Young will serve as a stop-gap for prospect Cody Asche.

But the Phillies need to get younger and trading for Soriano is not the way to do that.

Now Soriano was productive last season and still might have some gas left in his tank, but trading away potential years of service out of Domonic Brown is not a wise investment. Even if the Cubs eat most of his salary, the Phils need to run from this deal.

Yes, Brown is unproven and fans are tired of waiting for him to live up to his potential, but trading him for another right-handed power hitter with league-leading strike out potential would be a mistake. The Phillies should give Brown a shot, or keep him and sign Cody Ross, Nick Swisher or Josh Hamilton.  Then let Brown and Darin Ruf battle for the remaining starting spot.

Soriano is also injury-prone and if the Phillies lose him during the season—the club will have no legitimate reserve player for the position. Jon Mayberry Jr. will have to fill the void, and not many want this scenario.

The Phillies have made some exciting moves this offseason, bringing in both youth and experience, but the club’s next moves must be smart and accurate. The team does not have to settle for its current needs, but concentrate on promising players for years to come with low risk.

Soriano’s enjoyed a very nice Major League career but it should not continue in Philadelphia.

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Philadelphia Phillies Rumors: Phillies Reportedly Make a Push for Angel Pagan

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported the Philadelphia Phillies are believed to have made an offer to outfielder Angel Pagan. Sources claim the offer is a four-year deal. Rosenthal also reported it is believed the San Francisco Giants have made a four-year offer to Pagan.

Let the bidding begin.

This is a very important signing for the Philadelphia Phillies, especially after the brutal month the club had to endure. Losing out on B.J. Upton to the Atlanta Braves, halting a trade for relief pitcher Wilton Lopez and Chooch’s 25-game suspension would make any team miserable.

Needless to say, the Phillies are due for some good news.

Pagan would bring an interesting dynamic to the Phillies’ clubhouse. A switch-hitter with the ability to hit in multiple spots of the lineup—including leadoff. He is also extremely versatile at each outfield position. 

Now, Pagan had a great season last year and has been steady for the past three, but he is prone to injury. That’s a chief concern for the Phillies, but his potential outweighs the negative. 

Finally, the Phillies signing Pagan would allow the club to keep pace with the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals—who both have made huge splashes in the offseason, specifically center field. 

Maybe December is the month of good fortune for the Phillies. More details to follow on Pagan’s decision.

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How Will Carlos Ruiz’s Suspension Affect the Philadelphia Phillies?

Carlos Ruiz’s suspension means much more than missing 25 games. The Philadelphia Phillies are losing their field general and leader for the entire month of April. reported that Carlos Ruiz tested positive for the drug Adderall, a substance banned by Major League Baseball.  Jim Salisbury also tweeted this must have been Chooch’s second failing since the first failing does not warrant a suspension.

What does this mean for Phillies?

Unfortunately, this is a blow for the organization.

April games are just as important as September and October. It’s not easy to climb back from the basement of a competitive NL East.

April is also an important month for a pitchers and catchers to find their chemistry.

Even though we are talking about major league players, it still takes time for a pitcher and catcher to develop into regular-season form. Yes, the Phillies have spring training, but the beginning of the regular season is where longer innings occur and every pitch counts.

Chooch missing this first month stalls this process and can potentially weigh heavily on the pitchers’ psyches. Pitchers are known to be fragile creatures and become comfortable with their battery mate.  Anyone remember the Adam Eaton-Chris Coste relationship?

Ruiz’s suspension also means missing a much-needed right-handed batter in the lineup. Simply put, he fit nicely in the fifth spot.  Ruiz safely hit behind Chase Utley and Ryan Howard and had many opportunities to produce runs.The fifth spot could be a “sore spot” come April.

Erik Kratz will likely fill in during Ruiz’s absence, which he is no stranger to doing, but he cannot replace Chooch—even if it’s only for one month.

Last, this is a black eye for the organization. Ruiz appeared to be a clean, intelligent player, but this will taint his career and the Phils organization for some time.

The Phillies are not in panic mode, nor should the club be, but Ruben Amaro Jr. and the organization must now understand the importance and disappointment that comes along with the Ruiz suspension.

In an offseason where the Phillies look to regain elite status, this is a step in the wrong direction.

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