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Not all activity is good activity, of course. Ruben Amaro has been as aggressive as ever this winter, given the constraints of being near the luxury-tax limit set by MLB for total payroll.
He has made a number of moves; they just haven't been the right ones.
The Phillies may or may not have had a tentative agreement in place with Ryan Madson for four years and $44 million in November; it depends upon whom you ask. Either way, the deal never materialized, and they ended up signing Jonathan Papelbon for four years and $50 million instead less than a week later.
That was a nightmarish decision. It led to the loss of a first-round draft pick, which turned out to be totally unnecessary when the new Collective Bargaining Agreement was signed shortly thereafter. Madson would wallow on the market nearly two more months before landing a one-year deal at $8 million with the Cincinnati Reds.
Roy Oswalt, whose $14 million price tag fell casualty to the Papelbon addition, remains a free agent and will come in well under that cost when he does sign.
From there, things got a bit better. The Phillies brought back fan favorite (and Charlie Manuel protege) Jim Thome as a bench bat/replacement first baseman in the absence of injured Ryan Howard. They traded for Ty Wigginton, who will be the primary first baseman during Howard's recovery.
On a more critical note, Amaro got a fair deal with free-agent Jimmy Rollins, retaining the 2007 NL MVP for three years and $33 million.
Joel Pineiro came on board recently, too, giving the Phillies rotational depth, though they hardly need it. Cole Hamels signed only a one-year deal for 2012, putting him on track (for now, anyway) to be a free agent next winter.
Amaro said he wants to talk contract extension with Hamels during Spring Training, so a big story could break without having any effect on the team's 2012 prospects.
One prospect who could make his own news, though, is Domonic Brown. The talented but star-crossed outfielder sounds ticketed for the minor leagues again, and while that decision is virtually untenable on Amaro's part, it could be an opportunity for the right kind of GM to creep in and steal him.
Think Alex Anthopoulos of the Blue Jays.