What I would do and how I would fix the Phillies this off-season if I were GM

October 8th, 2013 by Kyle Lutz | Filed under Baseball, General, Phillies.

fixphillies

The Phillies got off to a sub-par 12-15 start this past year in April and never looked back…….to playing well that is. Part of their lack of success can be blamed on current Phillies’ GM Ruben Amaro Jr., part of it you can blame on the players and part on injuries sustained or that were nagging early on for the team. Regardless of who you blame, and how much, many fans lashed out continuously at Amaro (this year especially, but in year’s past as well) over his moves, and mishandling of the roster.

Here’s the lineup of moves I would make if I were the team’s GM, in no particular order. I’ll first break down what went wrong last year, before I continue into what I’d do for next year.

01. Trade Jimmy Rollins and make Cesar Hernandez the starting shortstop
02. Pursue Masahiro Tanaka, Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana, among others
03. Sign Brian McCann or re-sign Carlos Ruiz to a 2-year deal
04. Promote starting pitcher Jesse Biddle
05. Promote 3rd baseman Maikel Franco from AA Reading and platoon him with Cody Asche for the start at 3rd
06. Sign one of these free-agent outfielders: Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran or Nelson Cruz

Amaro aside, before I delve into what I’d do as GM, let’s break down the roster, the statistics, and analyze why the team did so poorly this year: 73-89 to be exact, before we go any further.

Injuries First off, the team had an enormous amount of injuries this year: some that were continuous from the past couple of years (like Chase Utley and Ryan Howard) and some that occurred in the midst of this past season. Below is a list of all the Phillies’ injuries this year, the injury itself and the players that missed time because of it, their games played out of the 162 game season are in parenthesis next to it.

*Significant Injuries

Chase Utley 2B- 15-day DL (Right oblique strain (on DL from May 21st- June 20th)- Missed 28 games)
Mike Adams- RP- 60-day DL (Right biceps tendinitis (Put on DL June 20th)- Missed 89 games)
Ryan Howard- 1B- 60-day DL (Left knee inflammation (On DL from July 6th-end of season)- Missed 75 games)
Carlos Ruiz- C- 15-day DL (Grade 2 strained hamstring (On DL from May 20th-June 18th)- Missed 28 games)
Ben Revere- OF- 15-day DL (Broken right foot (On DL from July 14th-end of season)- Missed 74 games)
Domonic Brown- OF- 7-day concussion DL (Post-concussion symptoms (On DL from July 25th-August 6th)- Missed 11 games)
Roy Halladay- SP- 60-day DL (Right shoulder (On DL from May 6th-August 25th)- Missed 98 games)

Adams was a spectacular set-up man, arguably the best from the past few years, Revere was getting hot prior to his injury and we already know what we can get, production wise, out of Howard and Utley when they’re healthy. Ruiz, despite the Adderall suspension to start the season, has become one of the best defensive catchers in the league, and has come around offensively as well, and although he had a very poor start to the season (8.68 ERA) and 2012 season, Doc would’ve helped the team somewhat I believe if healthy.

As for Dom Brown, he was finding his stroke prior to being sidelined. The loss of Howard and Revere really put the team in a deep hole. The team relies on Howard’s production year after year, and Revere’s speed and athleticism, and without the two, they are a whole different team. They were 38-36 this season in games Howard started at 1st base. That stat line alone — considering where the Phillies ended up after game 162 — shows you how valuable he is, even after he’s past his prime.

Let’s move past injuries, and the ramifications due to significant players being on the disabled-list stints this year, and delve into statistics themselves and analyze them.

Stats

-Cole Hamels

Another reason for the Phillies’ lack of success this year was Cole Hamels. He agreed to a six-year $144 million contract extension midway through the 2012 season, on July 24th. Here’s the breakdown statistically for Hamels, per year, ever since signing the new offer-sheet:

2012- 6-2, 2.77 ERA, 81.2 IP, 85 Ks, 19 BBs, 1.13 WHIP (Walks + Hits/Innings Pitched)
2013- 8-14, 3.60 ERA, 220 IP, 202 Ks, 50 BBs, 1.15 WHIP

Glancing at the list above, it shows that Hamels wasn’t lackadaisical or unprepared after he signed the lucrative contract. In fact, he was very good the rest of the way last year. This year, the same can’t be said. I don’t like to focus on wins and losses, since it doesn’t really show, most of the time, how good or bad a pitcher was. Yes, Hamels had a down year, but did he deserve less than 10 wins? No.

Most of the season he was even worst than his 2013 stat line dictates. Through the first 103 Phillies’ games of the year, he had an ERA over 4 (4.09 to be exact). The latter two months of the season he really picked up the workload and improved his game. In fact, his ERA in the last two months/59 games of the year was 2.73, almost identical to his ERA from almost the same time span a year before. In the process, he lowered his ERA from 4.09 to 3.60, a loss of 49 points. I’ve done some research and have come up with the conclusion that Hamels’ 2013 season was so poor not because of the pressure of his large contract, but because of ineffectiveness.

His Win probability added rate of 0.86 was down 64% from last year’s rate of 2.41. Furthermore, his fastball has become an issue, especially with the first pitch fastball. Hamels’ attempts to get ahead of batters with the first pitch fastballs have bec, and perhaps he needs to change his game plan if he wants to be effective. The problem with his fastball wasn’t speed, but rather selection and pitch location. Hamels’ four-seem fastball was faster than it was last year — 91.3 mph to 90.9 — and his cutter was virtually the same speed as well — 88 MPH to 88.1. The problem is the first-pitch fastball, which Hamels either leaves up, and/or gets burnt on. If he wants to have a level of success next year, he’ll need to change up his pitch selection per at-bat, because obviously throwing the fastball first isn’t working very well.

**Changes I would make as GM**

01. Trade Rollins/make Cesar Hernandez the starting shortstop

Simply put, Rollins is way overpaid, overrated, and past his prime. Not to mention he has a hustling problem as well. Yes, he’s still on the books for next year at $11 million (not including a $11 million dollar vesting option for 2015), and yes he’s past his prime but he’s still movable, due to his speed, experience and pop for a lead-off man.

This year, Rollins only hit .252 in 600 at-bats (in 160 games played). He suffered a major decline in production. In 2012, he hit 23 home runs and drove in 68, compared to this year when he only hit 6 and drove in only 39 all year long. For the first time since the 2003 season, in a qualifying season in which he played in 100 or more games, he stole only 22 bases.

Hernandez, based off of his career minor league stats, isn’t any more of a patient hitter than Rollins is, but he’s at least a start in the new direction, a fresh face and maybe somebody that won’t display a lack of hustle and swing at first pitches either. He has a career minor league batting average of .294, and he hit .309 with 32 stolen bases in 104 games with Triple-A Lehigh last season.

Hernandez is only 23 and could be a smart, effective hitter for the Phillies, if given the chance next year. He seems like a younger, more hungry version of Rollins (with less pop) and I believe he’s ready to get in there and play full-time.


02. Sign
Masahiro Tanaka, Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana

-Masahiro Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka is a 24-year old Japanese starting pitcher from the Japan Pacific League, in which he pitched for the past 7 seasons. This past season there, he went an insane 20-0, with a remarkable ERA of 1.24 in 23 starts. He struck out 155, walked only 27 and pitched 181 innings.

Fans and analysts of the sport question whether or not he’ll make the leap from Japanese pitcher to Major League pitcher, and be successful in his new potential endeavors as well. He was named the Pacific League Rookie of the Year in 2007, and has made the All-Star team there 5 times as well.

If Tanaka does decide to make the transition into MLB pitcher, and the Phillies are subsequently able to outbid and sign him, he has his work cut out for him, to say the least.

Pitching wise, he offers a four-seam fastball that usually sits between 90-94 miles-per-hour (and tops out at 97 mph) and a nasty, late-breaking 82-86 mile-per-hour slider. Additionally, he also throws a solid 84-88 mph splitter and a two-seamer. He often relies on his slider to be his out pitch. One area of Tanaka’s pitching that is often cited as needing improvement is his motion from the stretch. He allowed a league-high 28 base-runners to steal on him in 2007.

-Ubaldo Jimenez

Ubaldo Jimenez, formerly the Rockies’ ace, had a fairly good year this past season with the Cleveland Indians. After leading the league in losses last season with 17, Jimenez had a bounce-back year, going 13-9 with a 3.30 ERA in 182.2 innings-pitched. He struck out 194 batters — a SO/9 ratio of 9.6 — and walked (a fair amount of batters with) 80.

With Jimenez, there’s some good and there’s some bad.

For one thing, he’s hit or miss. As proven by the last two years, he’s what I call a bi-polar pitcher in that he can be great one minute, and erratic the next. I would sign him to obviously, knock on wood, be the former, more so than the latter. Jimenez has only cracked the 200 innings pitched mark twice in 9 full seasons- in 2009 and 2010. He has the potential, when healthy, to strike out over 200 guys a year, but there’s also a good chance that he’ll walk close to 100 guys a year as well. Like I said, his pitching statistics are erratic and bipolar. It was ok for him to walk 103 batters in 2008 because he was young; 24 to be exact, but not now when he’s nearing 30 and has experience.

Another good thing though with Jimenez is that he has stayed very healthy thus far and has started 30 or more games in 6 straight seasons with Colorado and Cleveland. He would most likely be a 3rd starter on this team.

-Ervin Santana

Speaking of health, Royals’ starting pitcher Ervin Santana — formerly with the LA Angels — is another perfect example. Ever since he broke into the league in 2005 he’s started 23 or more games every year but two, one of which was his rookie season.

This year, Santana, like Jimenez, had a bounce-back year as the 3rd starter for the 86 wins Royals. While he only won 9 games, he had an ERA of 3.24, a difference of 1.92 compared to the year before when he had a horrendous ERA of 5.16. He also eclipsed the 200 innings-pitched mark as well, with 211, and had a respectable WHIP of 1.142. Santana had the best BB/9 ratio of his career with 2.2, the fewest amount of walks in his career since 2009 with 51, and a SO/BB (strikeouts-to-walk ratio) of 3.16, the second best mark in his career (2008).

Since ace James Shields isn’t officially signed for next year (he has a $12 million team option) as of yet, it’s most likely that Santana won’t get an offer sheet until Shields is taken care of by the team financially, or at all for that matter.

Not only would Santana bring depth and experience, but he offers a fairly good breaking ball as well. His repertoire includes a 92 mph four-seam fastball, a 91 mph two-seamer, a 83 mph slider and a 85 mph changeup.

03. Sign Brian McCann or re-sign Carlos Ruiz to a 2-year deal

Good catchers on the free-agency market, or in general, are hard to find. Current Phillies’ starting catcher Carlos Ruiz is a free-agent after making $5 million this past year. After compiling a remarkable 2012 season in which he hit .325 and made the NL All-Star Team, Ruiz followed it up with an inadequate 2013 campaign in which he hit only .268 and put up a line of .268/.320/.368/.688 (BA/OBP/Slugging %/OPS in 92 games played. He was suspended the first 25 games for testing positive for amphetamines and subsequently suffered a Grade A hamstring strain, which sidelined him for nearly a month.

When healthy, Ruiz is one of the best defensive catchers in the league, and has developed into one of the better hitting catchers within the past years as well, after hitting 16 home runs two season ago, and compiling a BA of .303 between 2010-12. Even though he regressed in that department this past year, he’s sure to stay consistent given the opportunity.

Defensively, he ranked in the top 5 in the league, per year, in catching assists from 2010-12, and he’s currently 8th among active catchers in the same category with 417. He ranked first in range factor/9 innings in 2012 with 9.76 and ranked in the top 5 in double-plays turned (2010, 2012-13) and fielding percentage (2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013), for the respective years noted in parenthesis.

As for McCann, currently the Braves’ starting catcher, he’s sure to gain a ton of frfee-agency interest from both the home team Braves and outsiders as well. This is due to not only his offensive prowess but his defensive ability and leadership as well.

On the upside, McCann is five years younger (he turns 30 next February) than Ruiz, has more experience, a slightly better career batting average (.277 to .274), more power/production (McCann averages, per 162 games, 26 home runs and 97 RBIs, while Ruiz averages 11 and 66 in the same category). Comparing the two further, they are very similar defensively, as I mentioned previously. McCann has led the league twice in range factor per game (2011, 2013), three times he’s lead the league in stolen bases allowed (2008, 2010-11), and he lead the league in putouts with 972 in 2010, and passed balls with 7 in 2009, respectively.

If I were to pick one of the two, I’d go with McCann slightly, just because of his consistency offensively, not to mention the fact that he’s been proven to be clean thus far from using banned substances, unlike Ruiz. McCann, because of the lack of depth at catcher in the Free-Agency market, and because of his talent, is sure to get a top-notch offer from the Braves and/or a contending team in need of a catcher. The Phillies aren’t contenders, even though they field a high payroll and are a big-market team, and aren’t in need of a catcher either, but if they have the chance to trade up, best believe they should, and I would, do so accordingly.

The Braves and Rangers, among other teams, are a couple of the teams sure to be attempting to re-sign, or sign McCann to a lucrative offer-sheet come the off-season. Expect McCann to receive a contract around $75-80 million.

04. Promote starting-pitcher Jesse Biddle

Biddle, the future Phillies ace, is coming off of a feeble minor-league season for Double-A Reading in which he went 5-14 with a 3.64 ERA in 27 starts. Maybe, based off of his age (21), or his ineffectiveness last season, general managers, coaches and fans think that Biddle isn’t yet ready for the majors, but I think he is, and what better way to get acclimated than when your young and can learn. As they say, the sooner the better, and I feel that, in this case, that would help him improve.

Sometimes highly praised pitchers benefit from debuting in the Major Leagues early on at a young age. Among others, Dodgers’ all-time great, and stud-ace Sandy Koufax was only 19 when he made his Major League debut vs. the Milwaukee Braves. Another (future Hall-of-Famer) Hall-of-Fame type pitcher in Greg Maddux also made his debut at a young age, at age 19 with the Cubs in 1986. In no way am I comparing Biddle to the latter two, but rather I’m more so merely stating that sometimes starting a starting pitcher out in the Major Leagues young can be a very good thing. It remains to be seen whether or not Amaro will give Biddle that break next season, even though I would, and whether or not Biddle will be effective as well, at least early on. Promoting him can only help his confidence.

Biddle’s above-average changeup could very well be an asset for the Phillies in the upcoming years, given that he’s given the chance to display it.


05. 
Promote 3rd baseman Maikel Franco from AA Reading and platoon him with Cody Asche 

Maikel Franco is the 21 year old minor-league infielder for the Phillies’ Double-A farm-team, the Reading Fightin Phils. He played 65 games for Class Advanced A team Clearwater, before being promoted to Reading almost midway through the season. He hit a combined .320 in 2013 between the two teams: .339 for Clearwater, and .299 for Reading. He spent the previous one and a half minor-league seasons with Single-A Lakewood, where he hit a combined .262- including his 2012 season when he hit .280, with 14 home runs and 84 runs batted in.

This past season, not only did he hit for a high average, but his production, success wise, matched his average. He went on to hit over 30 home runs (31) and drove in over 100 as well (103). Although he walked 89 times, he only walked 30 times all year in 541 at-bats and 581 plate appearances, which is a cause for concern.

He’s currently rated/ranked as the best Phillies’ prospect, per Philly.com. Promoting him would partially fill the void left by Michael Young, who was traded last August, on the 31st, to the contending LA Dodgers for fellow minor-league pitcher Rob Rasmussen.

Franco could potentially and realistically be promoted to platoon with/play for the starting 3rd baseman’s job with Cody Asche, who was promoted to the Phillies’ Major League roster before this year’s July 31st non-waiver trade deadline. In 162 at-bats with the team, he hit only .235 with 5 homers and 22 RBIs.

Fielding wise/defensively, the two are eerily similar, when you compare their minor-league fielding statistics. Franco has a career fielding percentage of .953, whereas Asche’s fielding percentage in .951. On the other hand, Asche has a slightly higher range-factor per game with 2.90, compared to Franco’s 2.58.

As for their comparisons in the minors batting wise, statistically speaking, Asche holds a bare edge, albeit in fewer games played (302 vs. 388). Here are the breakdowns offensively between the two.

Franco            Asche

Batting Average-    .281                   .287
Home Runs-               50                      29
RBIs-                             260                    159
Walks-                          110                     93
Strike-Outs-               241                     238
On-base %-                 .334                    .343
Slugging %-                .458                    .438
OPS-                              .792                    .780

Taking a glance at the statistics provided above show that Franco has way more pop, while Asche strikes out more often per season. As shown by the statistics above, Franco’s power, yet patience at the plate are a few of the reasons why he’s the Phillies top prospect currently, and why I think he should be given a chance to play with the big boys come next season.


-The rest of the Pitching Staff

Pitching is arguably the Phillies’ most pressing concern heading into next year.

Although Hamels had a strong last quarter of the season, he’s still a slight concern considering he had a down year. Cliff Lee is probably the only pitcher currently on the Phillies’ roster that doesn’t account for any concerns whatsoever; whether it be statistically or on the injury front. Jonathan Papelbon will most likely have another solid year, with around 30 saves and an ERA in the high 2.00s. Although he went 5-1 with a 2.92 ERA this season, the concern with him was blowing saves. He unconventionally blew 7 saves, the second most blown saves in his career and the first time he’s blown 7 or more saves since 2010, when he was with Boston. If Papelbon can lower the amount of blown saves next year, it’ll surely help the team.

As for the lower-rotation guys, Doc Halladay may never pitch another game in Philadelphia, and if he does, he’s a cause for concern due to his nagging shoulder injury. I wouldn’t tender Halladay a contract for next year based off of his health and declining play on the field, as much as I love the guy. As for Kyle Kendrick, Amaro Jr. gave him a vote of confidence by uttering that he’d offer him a contract for next year, and I would do so as well. While Kendrick isn’t anything special, and probably a 4 at best, he’s consistent (that can be a good or a bad thing) and he stays healthy. On top of that, he’s versatile: he can pitch in the rotation and as a long-reliever; he had some experience with the latter a few seasons ago. I would feel more inclined to make him the long-reliever, considering his inconsistencies as a starting pitcher.

I’d give Ethan Martin a chance to come back and pitch in the starting rotation this year. Yes, he had a bad, yet short year this season with a high ERA, but he’s only 24, and hasn’t completed a full year yet. He was 2-5 with a 6.08 ERA, 47 strikeouts and 26 walks in 40 innings pitched. Martin spent the majority of the year with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs — the Phillies’ AAA affiliate team — where he went 11-5 in 115.2 innings pitched with a 4.12 ERA. Martin left the ball up a lot, and thus got burnt because of it. He gave up 9 home runs in those 40 innings, a HR/9 ratio of 2.03;  the highest ever in his career. Looking at his stats, albeit it being a small sample size, you would think to say that Martin isn’t ready to continue being a major league pitcher, at least for the moment. If you think so, I disagree. While he did look bad on paper this year (opposing major league batters batted .308 off of him on balls in play), it’s best to continue letting a pitcher of his stature to grow and develop in the majors, rather than back in the minors. Most pitchers will improve upon and want to do better after a poor first year, but whether or not Martin does improve and make progress is yet to be seen. I’d give him the opportunity though, considering he’s already had some experience and an idea as well of what divides the line between success and failure in the majors.

06. Sign one of these free-agent outfielders: Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran or Nelson Cruz

-Jacoby Ellsbury

Ellsbury not only offers great speed, athleticism and experience but some pop (although he only hit 9 home runs last year, he put up 32 three years ago) and a winning attitude as well. He won a title with Boston in 2007 in his rookie year, and Boston won 97 games this year and is in the middle of playing in the ALDS.

Ellsbury had a great, bounce-back year this year hitting .298 with a league-leading 52 stolen bases, 92 runs and 172 hits in 134 games played. He only struck out 92 times this year too, which is an added bonus.

The problem with Ellsbury isn’t so much talent (or a lack thereof) but price. Many experts are predicting the Red Sox to re-sign Jacoby to a lucrative, multi-year contract. His starting point, monetarily speaking, is 5-years, $75 million. I doubt he’ll sign for that little. Not to mention that most teams that will be bidding for him when the free agency period rolls around will be bidding back and forth, therefore I’d put my money (pun intended) on Ellsbury getting a contract in the $100-120 million dollar range, maybe even a bit more depending on the amount of teams interested in him (which is expected to be a lot).

-Carlos Beltran

Beltran is a veteran outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals. He’s a solid five-tool player, who has 358 career home runs, 1327 career RBIs, 1346 career runs and a career batting average of .283 in 2064 games over a span of 16 years. Beltran is also one of the best clutch/postseason players, perhaps ever. He’s only started in the postseason four times (2004, 2006, 2012-13) and yet, with 15 home runs, he’s tied for 8th all-time with all-time great Babe Ruth for career postseason home runs. 

Beltran had a career .363 post-season batting average coming into today and he’s first all-time among all MLB batters in career slugging percentage. Here are a few of his all-time career postseason ranks, with the rankings in parenthesis.

Home Runs- 15 (Tied for 8th- Babe Ruth)
On-Base Percentage- .470 (6th)
Slugging Percentage- .782 (1st)
OPS (On-base % + Slugging %)- 1.252 (1st)

The downside of Beltran is that he’ll be 37 by the start of the season next year, and St. Louis would most likely re-sign him following this year’s postseason, but regardless, he’s somebody to look at. He averages 28 HRs, 104 RBIs, 24 stolen bases (and only 4 CS; his SB ratio of 87% is fantastic) and 137 games played per-year is respectable. Accolades wise, Beltran has made the All-Star team 8 times, he was the 1999 AL Rookie of The Year, won 3 Gold Gloves and 2 Silver Sluggers, and was also the leader in offensive wins-above-replacement in 2004 with the Mets (6.9).

-Nelson Cruz

While Rangers’ 1st baseman Nelson Cruz strikes out a lot more than a guy like Ellsbury does, at the same time he provides a lot more pop and production as well. While Cruz has never driven in 100 or more runs, he’s averaged 32 home runs and 99 RBIs per 162 games. The problem with him, besides striking out, hasn’t been more so about production but rather staying healthy. This season he only played in 109 games for Texas, but only because of a 50-game suspension due to testing positive for PEDs in the Biogenesis scandal. From 2009-11, he averaged 120 games played per year. When healthy though, he’s a solid, productive middle of the order bat.

The sudden controversy surrounding Cruz due to his steroid suspension last year, and his mediocre .268 career batting average would make him more of a second option in the free-agency market for me, rather than a # 1 option such as Ellsbury. For a slugger, he doesn’t walk very much either. His career high in walks for a season was 49 in 2009.

Once the Free Agency market comes upon us, Cruz is expected to be offered an AAS (average-annual-salary) of around $14 million, maybe even less now due to his steroid ban and the solid chance that there will be a performance drop-off in the future as well. Texas will most likely re-sign him, for performance reasons, but if guys like Ellsbury or Carlos Beltran were off the market or unattainable, I’d most definitely pursue Cruz.

……..As for the other problems for the Phillies, such as the bullpen, outfield and starting pitching, here’s the quick rundown on all three (some of which I’ve mentioned earlier in the article).

Bullpen Help

Yes, the Phillies have a legit closer, one of the best in the league in fact, despite his 2013 shortcomings, in Jonathan Papelbon, and a great set-up man back healthy in Mike Adams, but they are still missing a confirmed 7th-inning man, to bridge the gap.

For this role, I don’t think they need any outside help honestly. I think youngster Jake Diekman, and/or experienced 7th-inning relief-pitcher Antonio Bastardo could fill the role very nicely and superbly.

Bastardo pitched in 48 games this past season, prior to his 50-game suspension due to being involved in the Biogenesis scandal. He amassed 42.2 innings pitched, with a solid 2.32 ERA. Diekman also had a solid ERA, at 2.58, in 45 games pitched. Reliever Justin De Fratus could also possibly fill the void as well, given he makes strides and improves his game.

Outfield

Darin Ruf, although he started his career in the minors out as a 1st baseman, may be forced to continue playing, if he wants starting time that is, in the outfield next year for the Phillies considering Ryan Howard’s return to the lineup. Ruf had a very impressive rookie season, especially considering he had to make a (tough) position change. He hit 14 home runs, with 30 RBIs and 11 doubles in 73 games/251 at-bats. Although his production was excellent considering the limited amount of time he played last season, he only batted .247, even though his on-base percentage was over 100 points higher than his batting-average (.348). Out of his 72 total starts, he started in the outfield 60% of the time (Specifically, 64% of his OF starts were in right field). He also went on to start 28 games at 1st base, in place of the injured slugger Ryan Howard.

Fifth Starting Pitcher’s Spot

After Hamels, Lee and either one or more of the pitching FA signings I’ve acquired goes through the order, on top of Kyle Kendrick/Jesse Biddle, if necessary, I’d give a guy like Ethan Martin a chance as well.
****So here’s the lineup for you again, moves wise, that I would work towards and accomplish, if I were the general manager for the Phillies this upcoming off-season:

01. Trade Jimmy Rollins and make Cesar Hernandez the starting shortstop
02. Pursue Masahiro Tanaka, Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana, among others
03. Sign Brian McCann or re-sign Carlos Ruiz to a 2-year deal
04. Promote pitcher Jesse Biddle
05. Promote Maikel Franco from AA Reading and platoon him with Cody Asche for the start at 3rd base
06. Sign one of these free-agent outfielders: Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran or Nelson Cruz

With these core moves, and a full year under Ryne Sandberg, I believe I could field a much better team than current GM Ruben Amaro Jr. could. If only they hired and paid the smarter, superior fans, analysts and writers instead.

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One Response to “What I would do and how I would fix the Phillies this off-season if I were GM”

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