As we digest the aftermath of the R.A. Dickey trade, it is clear that the New YorkMets are looking to build their 2013 squad with youth. A natural question to keep an eye on for the Mets is to see what their division rivals are doing in the offseason. For each of the next four weeks, the Mets 101 staff will break down a division rival's offseason plans and see what moves they are (or aren't) making to get ready for 2013. We will continue our series with a look at the Philadelphia Phillies.
Free Agents Entering the Offseason: IF Ty Wigginton, 2B Mike Fontenot, 3B Placido Polanco, C Carlos Ruiz, OF Juan Pierre
Areas of Concern: 3B, OF, SP, RP
What They've Done: After picking up the option for Carlos Ruiz, the Phillies addressed a hole in their starting rotation by signing former Nationals lefty John Lannan to a one year deal worth two and a half million dollars. The Phillies also upgraded their set-up corps by signing reliever Mike Adams to a two year deal. They also made a splashy pickup via trade when they took on the contract of Texas third baseman Michael Young in exchange for two relievers. A smaller deal with the Twins saw them pick up outfielder Ben Revere in exchange for starter Vance Worley.
What's Left to Settle: The Phils have done a good job patching up some of their holes in the offseason, but they still have a shaky outfield at best. Revere will play center and likely bat leadoff, and the Phillies would like to see young outfielder Domonic Brown seize control of a starting job in spring training. John Mayberry Jr leads a group of uninspiring options for the other outfield spot, so it remains possible the team could sign another veteran to offer insurance for the young guys. The rotation is also a concern as the Phils have little depth beyond their starting five.
Are they Better or Worse?
They are slightly better than the end of last year, but they are worse than the group they started last year with. Young appears to be an upgrade over Polanco, but he is another aging veteran with a hefty contract. The outfield is young and filled with questions, but Brown has potential to be a star. The group the Phillies have assembled is an older group that is still full of hefty contracts, clearly showing that the Phillies want to make another run at a championship before their window closes. A full season from Ryan Howard and Chase Utley would be key for the team's chances.
Starting Rotation: Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick, John Lannan
Bullpen: Jonathan Papelbon, Mike Adams, Antonio Bastardo, J.C. Ramirez, Mike Stutes, Raul Valdez, Joe Savery
Check in next week as we wrap up our Sizing Up the Competition series with a look at the Miami Marlins!
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