With free agency upon us, rumors have begun circulating everywhere, speculation about which player ended up where have been rampant. Phillies fans know what their club needs: an outfielder (maybe two), a third baseman and dependable relief help.
Every one of those needs can be found and addressed on the free-agent market. Theoretically, at least the Phillies can go out and sign Josh Hamilton, Kevin Youkilis and Jeremy Affeldt. They should have the money (whether they want to spend it and cross the tax threshold remains to be seen) if that is their desire.
And yet doing so might not solve all of the Phillies problems, nor return them to playoff contention. That’s because most of what plagued the Phillies in 2012 (and in a way, both in 2010 and 2011 playoffs) were internal problems.
Going forward, if the Phillies are going to reclaim their level of prominence atop the National League, they are going to have to deal with these issues first. No matter which free agents they sign or players they bring in through trades, the Phillies will not be legitimate World Series contenders until they solve these five issues.