With the 2012 World Series coming to an end, the offseason is now upon us. Ruben Amaro Jr. and his staff will begin the daunting task of trying to rebuild the Phillies into a championship team.
The Phillies have already cut ties with Placido Polanco, Ty Wigginton and Jose Contreras while picking up Carlos Ruiz's 2013 option.
In order to compete for a title in 2013, the Phillies will have to fill most, if not all of their holes, which includes at least two outfield spots, third base, the bullpen and maybe even a back-of-the-rotation starter.
Here are five realistic offseason moves the Phillies should seriously consider.
After Ryan Madson tore a ligament in his pitching arm, he missed the entire 2012 season. He could be just what the doctor ordered for the Phillies.
Amaro should sign Madson to a one-year deal and bring him in to set up for Jonathan Papelbon.
When a pitcher comes off a major surgery, it is always a roll of the dice for the team who signs him. This is a risk the Phillies should take because they will be able to sign him at a price, and we all know Madson can have a serious upside.
The only question being whether Ruben Amaro can mend his relationship with Madson's agent Scott Boras after their long-term extension for Madson last year mysteriously fell apart.
The Phillies are in desperate need of a center fielder with the departure of Shane Victorino and John Mayberry's inability to develop into an everyday player.
The answer lies with B.J. Upton. He is the right-handed power bat the Phillies are looking for, he is still remotely young at age 28 and can play an adequate center field.
Upton has also underachieved for the amount of potential he has. A change of scenery may do Upton well, and he could surprise all of us and have a breakout season in 2013.
If the Phillies make a splash this offseason, hopefully it will be with a player like B.J. Upton who has the potential to be 30 home run, 30 steals type of player, especially in Citizens Bank Park.
Third base has been an offensive cause for concern for the Phillies for quite sometime now. They have not had a legitimate power-hitting third baseman since Scott Rolen manned the hot corner, which seems like centuries ago.
The Phillies may be able to address that problem for the short term by signing Kevin Youkilis to a one to two year deal.
Youkilis can also provide some pop from the right side; he hit 19 home runs and drove in 60 runs in 122 games in 2012.
This is another free agent who can come in as a low-risk, high-reward type of player. If Youkilis can play average defense while hitting 20 or more home runs, it could be a key addition to the Phillies' offense.
The Phillies have Kevin Frandsen and Freddy Galvis, but neither of them can really provide the pop the Phillies need at a power position like third base.
The Phillies are in need of a proven, veteran arm in their bullpen besides Jonathan Papelbon. Someone with a legitimate track record who can consistently maintain leads.
That man is Mike Adam, who turns 35 next season. After coming off what would be considered a down year for Adam where he posted a 3.27 ERA. His career average ERA sits at 2.28. His K/9 and K/BB were also down in 2012.
Fortunately, a down year for Adams is still a lot better than what the Phillies have in their current bullpen.
With the down the year, Amaro may be able to get Adams at a better price. If that price is right, Amaro should make a serious run at Adams.
Being caught for using performance enhancing drugs is something no professional athlete wants to have on their resume, especially the year before one becomes a free agent hoping to sign a huge multi-year deal worth millions of dollars.
That is exactly what happened to Melky Cabrera in 2012. Fortunately for the Phillies, this may work to their advantage this offseason.
Cabrera was having an MVP-type of season before his suspension and will be a risk for any team going into 2013.
Will he be able to put up those kind of numbers without the additional testosterone in his system?
Only time will tell.
To play the devil's advocate, Ryan Braun, who went through a similar type of situation in 2011, came back strong in 2012 to put up MVP numbers once again.
The most important thing about bringing Cabrera to Philadelphia is the potential to add a MVP-type of player for a low price.
So is it worth it to bring Cabrera to Philadelphia?
I'd say yes, especially with the Phillies not knowing what they are going to get out of Domonic Brown in 2013. Or if Darin Ruf will be able to make the transition to the outfield.
An outfield that consists of B.J. Upton, Melky Cabrera and Darin Ruf sounds a lot better to me than Juan Pierre, John Mayberry and Domonic Brown.