The Stove Is Starting To Heat Up As The Phillies Begin To Explore Free Agent Options
11/13/2012 3:30:00 PM
With the Eagles in a downward spiral, the Sixers without Andrew Bynum for the foreseeable future and no hockey action in sight, the Phillies have a chance to steal the headlines and dictate the course of the conversation in this city with one big time move.
The Twitterverse was abuzz for a few brief moments yesterday thanks to this tweet from a fake Jim Salisbury account:
Of course, there is at least some substance to this story as the Phillies have (not so) quietly inquired about Hamilton’s services. From the very real Twitter account of the very real ESPN Insider Buster Olney:
Hamilton isn’t the only big name outfielder that the Phillies have been looking at. According to Olney, the Phillies are also looking at the likes of Michael Bourn, B.J. Upton, Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera are all names that have been mentioned in the same breath as the Phillies.
On the surface those are certainly some intriguing names but if you dig a little deeper those players lose a little bit of their luster. Cabrera was having a career year until he was busted for having abnormally high levels of testosterone in his system. He was a nice player in the years leading up to his PED fueled breakout season but is he really someone you can plug into a questionable Phillies outfield and expect miracles? He’ll be cheap, though, so that is what makes him a guy that you at least think twice about.
Bourn is the name thrown around most often when it comes to who pundits think will be patrolling centerfield for the Phillies next season. He is a speedster (42 stolen bases in 2012) but other than that he really isn’t a player that this team should be throwing a ton of money at. He strikes out a ton (155 in 2012, 140 in 2011) and doesn’t really offer much of an upgrade over the Phillies’ current leadoff hitter, Jimmy Rollins (.270 career hitter, .328 career OBP versus Bourn’s career marks of .272 and .339).
Upton has the pop that Bourn lacks. He slugged a career high 28 homeruns in 2012 to go along with 78 RBIs. That’s pretty good and would be welcomed on this team. What’s not good is the fact that he was a .246 hitter last season with a sub-.300 OBP. His career marks of .255/.336/.758 really aren’t anything to sneeze at.
Pagan is just another guy. He really won’t snatch any headlines but he would be a decent addition to this lineup. He’s a career .281 hitter who is coming off a season in which he set career highs in at-bats, runs scored, hits, doubles, triples and walks. That being said, Pagan has a career strikeout-to-walk ratio of almost 2-to-1. This is a team that needs to invest in a contact hitter who can set the stage for the middle of the lineup to drive him in.
The outfield isn't the only hole for the Phillies as they also have to figure out what they are going to do at third base and in the bullpen. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com tweeted that Marco Scutaro, Jeff Keppinger and even Kevin Youkilis are names that have been discussed to coem in and take over the hot corner in Philadelphia.
It sounds like the Phillies are going to make a move sooner rather than later. It may not prove to be the right move but they are determined to make a splash this offseason.