Since signing Cliff Lee to a surprising five-year contract, the Philadelphia Phillies have been eerily quiet in the market this offseason.

The team certainly isn’t going to make any splashes quite as large as it did with the Lee signing, but by no means does that mean that the franchise isn’t going to build depth for another possible World Series run.

With GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. expressing an extreme desire to keep promising outfield prospect Domonic Brown in Triple-A to begin the 2011 regular season, incumbent Ben Francisco is expected to see a major increase in playing time given the departure of Jayson Werth to the Washington Nationals.

Although the team doesn’t have much too much left to spend, they have the best starting rotation in baseball with Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt in the fold. And with a still potent offense that is highlighted by slugger Ryan Howard and extraordinary second baseman Chase Utley, this Phillies team could be one of the better squads in recent history.

Let’s take a look at some possible names that the Phillies could still be targeting as Spring Training rapidly approaches.

John Maine, Starting Pitcher

Maine was non-tendered by the New York Mets after spending the majority of the 2010 season on the shelf following shoulder surgery.

Slated for a major role in the Mets rotation, Maine was a major disappointment and has never been quite as effective as he was during a magical 2007 season when he won 15 games.

Maine is primarily a fastball pitcher and perhaps repeated shoulder troubles have sapped the life on his fastball, because he’s not fooling anyone. For the Phillies, he would serve as depth for the rotation should the team be able to work out a deal for SP Joe Blanton to pitch elsewhere. 

If signed, he’s nowhere near a sure bet to make the final roster. He could pitch in relief, but that’s a long shot to happen.

Chad Durbin, Relief Pitcher

Durbin and the team have reportedly exchanged terms on a potential contract agreement, but it seems that the two sides are still a bit apart in negotiations for a new deal.

The journeyman reliever has spent the last three seasons in Philadelphia, and this last season was his best since 2008.

Although the Phils have a rather crowded bullpen, if Durbin reaches an agreement with the team he should carve out a role without any trouble at all.

His demands aren’t thought to be incredibly lucrative, but the Phillies may nonetheless be hesitant to shell out the type of dough that he’s in search for. 

Scott Podsednik, Outfielder

After finishing up the regular season with the Dodgers, Podsednik declined his player option with the team but has yet to find a job this offseason.

Despite being 34 years old, Podsednik managed to swipe 35 bags last season, the majority of which were accumulated before mid-August. Batting .297, it’s clear that he still has the tools to serve as an asset to a team looking for a leadoff hitter.

However, Pods doesn’t exactly offer up much in terms of anything outside of speed and average, and with most teams preferring increased offense in the outfield, he may be relegated to a backup role. 

If the team feels uncomfortable with Francisco, Pods could be a great left-handed option to platoon with and potentially even take over the full-time role before Brown is ready.

Justin Duchscherer, Starting Pitcher

After it’s been reported that both the Yankees and Red Sox have had interest in the former ace of the Oakland A’s, the interest in Duchscherer has been rather sparse of late.

Because he’s been rather injury prone over the last few seasons, it’s understandable that most teams would be hesitant to roll the dice. However, Duch is a very effective starter when healthy, and just one look at his impressive 2008 season will tell anyone exactly that.

He shouldn’t command much more than a $1 million base salary with built-in incentives in the contract, and the Phillies could have a potential steal and one of the best number five starters in the entire National League.

Jerry Hairston, Jr., Infielder/Outfielder

With his brother Scott recently signing a minor league accord with the New York Mets, Jerry is hoping to find a new home sooner rather than later.

After spending last season in San Diego and hitting .244 with 10 HR in just over 400 AB, Hairston should at least be able to find a spot at the end of the Phils’ bench if they can’t secure a more attractive option.

Hairston could serve as a nifty insurance policy to Chase Utley in the infield, as well as Placido Polanco at 3B given his history of health issues throughout the years. Hairston’s versatility would serve the team in a multitude of ways.

Manny Ramirez, Outfielder

Although this possibility is obviously a little far fetched, Ramirez would really be a great addition for the Phillies.

Rather than rolling out a platoon of Ben Francisco and another player (TBD), Ramirez could serve as the everyday right fielder in a Citizens Bank ballpark that would serve to inflate his stats coming off of a down season.

Although they may be the worst defensive outfield in quite some time with the aging Ibanez in left field, the offensive production would be enough to disregard the ineptitude on defense.

If the price drops enough where Philadelphia can make a serious offer, Ramirez would be hard pressed to say no as this would be his best chance to securing another World Series ring before retirement. 

Michael Young, 3B/DH

With the signing of Adrian Beltre, it’s clear that the Texas Rangers don’t view the overpaid Young as part of the long-term future.

Despite the team indicating that he’ll serve as the full time designated hitter, it’s no secret that the franchise would love to move his massive contract in the right deal.

In a rare situation where the trade could serve to benefit both sides, the Phillies could send Raul Ibanez to Texas as he has just a single year remaining on his deal, and take on Young and the remaining tenure of his deal.

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