10 Players Still Within the Philadelphia Phillies' Reach
The Philadelphia Phillies have sunk their teeth into the 2012 offseason by bringing in center fielder Ben Revere and third basemen Michael Young.
Unfortunately, those acquisitions sent starting pitcher Vance Worley and bullpen arm Josh Lindblom out of town along with minor league prospects Trevor May and Lisalverto Bonilla.
These trades have helped fill some of the Phillies' most significant needs, but they also added a void to the starting rotation. There are several quality free agents left on the market and hopefully the Phillies will be able to shore up a corner outfield position, a bullpen arm and a back-end starting pitcher.
Here are 10 players that are still within the Phillies' reach to acquire this offseason in hope of bringing another World Series title back to Philadelphia.
Joe Saunders, SP
Joe Saunders may actually be the best fit to fill the Phillies' hole at the back of their rotation. He is a left-handed pitcher who consistently throws a lot of innings, with over 200 in both 2010 and 2011.
Saunders also will come at a good price, as he made $6 million in 2012 and, after a sub-par year, should be had at around the same price if not a little cheaper. He has won 15 games twice in his career and could have some upside in 2013.
Saunders finished 2012 with a 9-13 record, an ERA of 4.07 in 174.2 innings and a WAR of 1.3.
Another very interesting stat on Saunders is his playoff experience. He's started six playoff games over his career, and in 2012 he started two games for the Baltimore Orioles, giving up just two runs in 11.1 innings.
The Phillies need a fifth starter and Saunders may just be the man for the job.
Mike Adams, RP
The Phillies need some bullpen help and they need it desperately. They thought they had acquired an eighth-inning man when they almost signed Wilton Lopez, but the deal fell apart, leaving the Phillies without a set-up man.
The man to fill that role is Mike Adams, who is coming off another quality season in which he pitched 52.1 innings with an ERA of 3.27. Adams also struck out 45 batters while walking just 17. He ranked fifth in the American League in holds last season with 27.
It is beyond important that the Phillies sign a reliable set-up man to bridge the gap to closer Jonathan Papelbon. Adams made $4.4 million in 2012 and will likely make around the same in 2013.
Amaro needs to get it done and fast.
Josh Hamilton, OF
Josh Hamilton rumors continue to swirl. CBS PHILLY has stated that the Phillies have recently offered Hamilton a three-year, $80 million contract. But other sources have yet to confirm this rumor.
I must say, Hamilton would look great in a Phillies' uniform and would be the final piece to what would make a very dangerous lineup. Maybe even the best in the National League.
Hamilton is one of the most gifted players in baseball today, but does not come without some baggage. His battle with addiction is well documented, but so is his success as a baseball player. He finished in the top five in the American League in home runs, runs, RBI, SLG and OPS last season.
Having Hamilton in the lineup will also give the Phillies some insurance in case injuries creep up on Chase Utley or Ryan Howard again this season. Hamilton himself has battled injuries, so he is no sure thing either—making the Phillies' decision to acquire him that much tougher.
A potential three-year deal limits the Phillies' risk. Hamilton may want to sign a longer deal to ensure he makes a bigger payday. If he wants to win a ring, it seems like it's between Philly and the Texas Rangers.
John Lannan, SP
One quality starting pitcher that the Phillies may be able to get on a one-year deal is lefty John Lannan. Lannan was recently bumped from the Washington Nationals' starting rotation and is going to look to get a chance somewhere else so he can prove his worth as a reliable starting pitcher.
In 2011, he pitched 184.2 innings with a 3.70 ERA and lost his job in 2012. Doesn't sound quite fair does it? Lannan can still pitch, he just needs the chance to prove it.
Lannan has a career 4.01 ERA and just turned 28. In the six starts he made last season, he pitched fairly well, going 4-1 with a 4.13 ERA in 32.2 innings. He also didn't give up a single home run.
One area of concern with Lannan is his poor walk-to-strikeout ratio. In his brief stint in 2012, he walked 14 and struck out just 17.
On a cheap one-year deal, Lannan would fit well in Philadelphia as their fifth starter, and if he proves he still has it then the Phillies can decide whether or not they want to extend him.
Nick Swisher, OF
Nick Swisher has been linked to just as many teams this offseason as any of the other free agents on the market. For some reason, none of those rumors have linked Swisher to the Phillies even though he makes more sense than almost any other player left on the open market.
He's a switch-hitter, can bring power to your lineup and also shore up right field for the Phillies.
Swisher is looking for a long-term deal and the Phillies already have a bunch of those contracts, which is why the Phillies have yet to express any real interest in Swisher.
If the Phillies come up short on Josh Hamilton or another corner outfielder like Cody Ross, they could shift gears and seriously pursue Swisher.
Swisher has hit over 20 home runs in each of the last eight seasons. Over the last four seasons, Swisher has driven in over 82 runs each year. Last year he had career highs in both RBI (93) and doubles (36).
That type of offensive consistency is very hard to come by and that is why Swisher's price remains so high.
Swisher looks like he will be on the market for a while and if the asking price and years start to lower, the Phillies could very easily get in the running to acquire him.
Derek Lowe, SP
If the Phillies decide they only want to give out a one-year contract to a potential stopgap at the fifth starter spot, veteran Derek Lowe could be one of their potential options.
Lowe will turn 40 in June and will most likely only get a one-year deal at a very reasonable price. If Lowe can be had for only a few million bucks, he may interest the Phillies.
He would be one of those low-risk, high-reward type of guys who could come in and surprise people with a bounce-back season.
The Phillies would most likely only go after a guy like Lowe if they spend the majority of their remaining cash on a guy like Josh Hamilton.
Lowe could also be one of the players to sign a non-guaranteed deal with an invite to Spring Training. If he does well, great; if not, you can just cut him loose.
Jonathan Sanchez, SP
Another starting pitcher who could come in to fill the Phillies' void is Jonathan Sanchez. Sanchez is coming off the worst season of his career by far and this could put him right in the Phillies' price range.
Sanchez went 1-9 with an 8.07 ERA in 2012 while making $5.6 million. He will make nowhere near that in 2013 and could be a cheap fix with some upside for the Phillies.
Sanchez, who just turned 30, is only two years removed from a World Series championship and a season in which he made 33 starts, pitched 193.1 innings with a 3.07 ERA and had a WAR of 3.0.
If the Phillies want a cheap fix, with the potential for some serious upside, Sanchez could probably be signed on a one-year deal for somewhere in the $2-3 million dollar range.
Cody Ross, OF
Cody Ross could be a cheaper option than overpaying for a guy like Nick Swisher. Ross made just $3 million in 2012, but will likely sign a $7-10 million annual contract moving forward.
Ross hit .267 with 22 home runs and 81 RBI in 2012. As a right-handed hitter, he would not have to deal with hitting over Boston's green monster in left field, so playing in Philadelphia may actually improve some of his power numbers.
One of the biggest downsides to Ross is his inability to hit right-handed pitching, hitting .256 compared to .295 against lefties in 2012. Even more disappointing is the amount of strikeouts he accumulates against righties. 104 out of his 129 strikeouts last season came against righties. A staggering number to say the least.
Ross can play either corner outfield position and definitely will be an upgrade over what the Phillies have in their outfield at the moment.
In going the cheaper route with a guy like Ross, the Phillies will still have money to address other areas of concern like the bullpen and the starting rotation.
Jair Jurrjens, SP
A sleeper that may be signed by the Phillies to come in and try to take over the fifth starter spot is former Atlanta Braves pitcher Jair Jurrjens.
Jurrjens was non-tendered a contract, thus making him a free agent. He struggled immensely in 2012, posting a 6.89 ERA and a WAR of -1.4. Just a year earlier, Jurrjens posted a 2.96 ERA and a WAR of 3.0. It's crazy what can happen in just one season, but the Braves' loss may just be what the Phillies are looking for.
In order to get back on the major league map, the soon to be 27-year-old Jurrjens is going to have to take a one-year deal at a substantial decrease in pay. He made $5.5 million in 2013 and he'll be lucky to make half of that in 2013.
Is he worth the risk? He just may be. He's young and has shown he can succeed at the big-league level. If Jurrjens can get back to his 2011 form, he could be the steal of the 2012 offseason.
Kyle Lohse, SP
The biggest stretch for the Phillies in what's left of this year's offseason would be to land a starter like Kyle Lohse. With Roy Halladay's future uncertain in Philly, it may not be a bad idea to lock up a quality starter with tons of playoff experience for the next several seasons.
Lohse is coming off the most successful season of his 11-year career, posting an ERA of 2.86 over 211 innings and finishing the year with a record of 16-3.
One of the major downfalls about Lohse is his age. He turned 34 in October and locking him up longer than three years probably isn't the best idea.
The other is his price. He made $12.1 million in 2012 and it seems unlikely for him to take any sort of pay cut after having the best year of his career.
Keep your ears open though, because if the Phillies miss out on a big-time corner outfielder, they might just go out and acquire a solid starting pitcher like Lohse.