It's been a season of flux for the Philadelphia Phillies this year, to say the least. Last year, though eliminated in the NLDS by the St. Louis Cardinals, the Phillies were the best team in baseball with a 102-60 record. This year, the tides have changed.
After having posted nine consecutive winning seasons, the Phillies are in jeopardy of not achieving their tenth straight season with a record above .500. If they plan on doing so, they have to win two of three in their upcoming series in Washington against the Nationals. Anything less, and it's either .500 or a losing record, and either of the two ends the streak, which is the third-longest (second-longest if it persists) of its kind in the majors.
The attitude around Philadelphia concerning the Phillies has ostensibly changed. Last year, it was win the most games in franchise history and then the World Series. Now, it's just to finish the season with a winning record.
However, there is one thing about the Phillies that has remained constant from last year to this one: they're still a big market team. The Phillies have recent winning seasons on their side and their lack of a playoff appearance this year can at least somewhat be attributed to injuries to Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. Whether or not any baseball fans can be led to such persuasion is one thing, but perhaps baseball players looking to sign somewhere, such as Philadelphia, will feel the same as I've mentioned.
The Phillies' free agency shopping list is no doubt comprised of the following: center fielder (possibly a corner outfielder as well), third baseman, and potentially a relief pitcher. A starting pitcher could also see his way into the fold, though that's less likely given the Phillies' internal options of Kyle Kendrick, Tyler Cloyd and possibly even Jonathan Pettibone. This list will focus on some options at those positions who will be free agents this offseason and could be a fit for the Phillies.
Let's get to it.