BY SPENCER REITER, Contributor
The off-season in baseball. It is filled with commotion, disappointment and satisfaction. The Phillies are hoping to get part of the satisfaction aspect during the 2009-2010 off-season. There has been trade talks with Roy Halladay, picking up a new third baseman, and of course, filling the big hole in the bullpen.
First off, the guy that is on every Phillies fan’s mind, Roy Halladay. “Doc” has been undoubtedly one of the best pitchers in recent memory within the MLB, and he is dying for a World Series title. Although he was phenomenal this past season, 17-10, 2.79 ERA and 208 strikeouts, Halladay does not have much of a team to help him get to where he would like to be. Although Doc is a great pitcher, and would certainly make the Phillies a bigger threat in the NL, I do not think the lengths the Phillies would have to go to, are worth his presence on the team. There have been many speculated offers around the Phillies organization with Roy Halladay.
Speculation number 1-Cole Hamels for Roy Halladay, straight-up. I do not like this trade at all. Cole Hamels is still a great pitcher, even though he had a rocky 2009 season, going 10-11. Hamels is still a great pitcher at a young age 26. You cannot ignore what Cole did for the Phillies last year in the post-season, going 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA. All in all, I would rather get 10 more good seasons out of Cole Hamels, then 3 or 4 potentially great seasons with Roy Halladay.
Speculation number 2- Any combination of J.A Happ and prospects Kyle Drabek and Domonic Brown for Roy Halladay. I also would disagree with this transaction. If the Phillies were to give up any of these players, they are hurting the future of the Phillies organization. The Phils have great pitchers in Drabek and Happ, and of course a fantastic outfielder in Brown. Although the Phillies may get their championship years by getting Halladay for these guys, there may be no good future for the Phillies organization. The Phillies do not need Halladay to be a winning team each year, they already have the ability in the starting pitching, it is just a question of whether or not they play up to there ability.
One final reason I do not like acquiring Roy Halladay- money. If the Phillies get Roy Halladay, they may not have enough money to spend on their bullpen or third baseman. “More specifically, our need at third base and in our bullpen,” Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. told Todd Zolecki, of MLB.com Monday. “Those two areas are our priorities.”
In order to get good players in those positions they would need to save some money, and Roy Halladay’s contract would require a lot of that money.
Speaking of third base, the Phillies have quite a bit of options out there for the hot corner. One option of course is resigning Pedro Feliz, who I feel has been a great addition to this ball club throughout the years. He is an amazing fielder, and did not do terribly at bat, batting .266 with an OPB of .308 and 82 RBIs. He has been good in his customary seven-spot in the lineup for the Phils over the past couple years, and I would not mind keeping him here at all.
But, it’s not looking good.
Another man that would contribute just as well as Feliz did to this Phillies team is our old friend Placido P0lanco. Polanco played for the Phils from 2002 to 2005 at second base, and there are speculations that he may come back to play some third base. Polanco has a couple gold gloves in his name, and also contributes well offensively batting .285, an OBP of .331, and 72 RBIs is 2009. If you are looking to have the same type of lineup the Phillies have had in the past couple years, Placido Polanco is the way to go, batting in the seven-hole for the Phils.
Finally there has also been speculations regarding Chone Figgins, the third baseman from the LA Angels. Figgins is not the type of guy we are used to seeing in a power lineup of the Phillies. He batted .298 and had 42 stolen bases. Figgins would be a good set up man for Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, and I would ultimately like to see him play a role in the lineup.
Figgins gets on base, and would be a good threat, but it might mean moving Rollins down to the six or seven-spot, and I do not think Rollins would do well down there after leading-off for many years. I would prefer to have a player like Polanco or Feliz in the seven-hole and keep Rollins at the top of the lineup.
As you can see, Amaro will have some tough decisions to make this off-season, and in the end the decisions he makes could make or break this ball club not only for 2010, but for years to come down the line.
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