As each day goes by, more and more key free agents are being acquired by teams all over baseball, and more importantly, within the same division. With the way things have gone so far, it's not looking too promising for the Phillies.
The Phillies' key offseason target, B.J. Upton, has recently signed with the division rival, Atlanta Braves. To add more salt to the wound, reigning NL East Champion Washington Nationals recently traded for Twins' center fielder Denard Span.
With Upton signing and the center field market shrinking, the Phillies had to look to other options. One name they may have had interest in was Angel Pagan. That is, until today, when CSNBayArea's Andrew Baggarly posted on his Twitter account that Pagan signed a four-year, $40 million deal that that included a $5 million signing bonus.
With almost all of the modestly priced free agents off the market besides Shane Victorino, the Phillies are left in quite the predicament.
Do they concentrate on the corner outfield free-agent market? Do they make a trade? Or do they let the market play out and see where what it looks like a month or more from now?
One thing we all know is that general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has to do something. This team, as is, will have a lot of trouble competing in the NL East, let alone the rest of the National League. If Amaro is unable to bring anything of value to Philadelphia in 2013, we may be looking at another third place finish for the Phillies next season.
Amaro has seemed oddly patient so far this offseason, maybe a little too patient, but if history has taught us one thing, it tends to repeat itself. So, Amaro may have an unexpected ace up his sleeve, we just don't know which one yet.
This is going to be an interesting week; it's only Monday and the buzz is already heavy. Look for Amaro to use this week not only to see what the free-agent market is looking like, but to also lay groundwork for several trade possibilities. Alfonso Soriano, Michael Young and Peter Bourjos could all be fits for the Phillies.
The Phillies have an abundance of depth at starting pitcher in the minor leagues and could use that to help bring some much-needed talent into Philadelphia. Tyler Cloyd, Trevor May, Adam Morgan, Brody Colvin and Jonathan Pettibone could all be available.
If the Phillies want to compete in 2013, they need to add some talent. Third base, outfield and the bullpen are all areas of major concern. The more time that goes by, the tougher time Amaro will have to fill his voids. There are big names still out there, but Amaro seems hesitant to go on a spending spree this offseason.
The good news is that it's still relatively early, so don't go into panic mode yet. Amaro may have something stirring in his pot that no one in baseball is expecting; he's done it before and he could do it again. Let's just hope it's sooner rather than later, for the fan's sake.
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