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Philadelphia Phillies Strive to Strengthen Pitching Staff

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 01: John Lannan #31 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on October 1, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
Michael PizzutilloCorrespondent IIIDecember 15, 2012

The Philadelphia Phillies have potentially signed two key pitchers in recent days.  According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, the Phillies have likely reached a multi-year agreement with free-agent setup man Mike Adams. Then moments later, Jim Salisbury of reported the Phillies have potentially signed free-agent starter John Lannan to a one-year deal, pending a physical.

In an instant, the Phillies have upgraded their starting rotation and bullpen.

After their trade for Michael Young, I wrote an article asking what positions the Phillies should focus on filling. The conclusion, starting and relief pitching.

The Phillies did just that.

With the possible addition of both pitchers, the club would be keeping pace with the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves for supremacy in the NL East. 

Earlier in the week, Matt Gelb of reported Ruben Amaro Jr. was looking for a low-risk, high-reward pitcher and Lannan fit the bill. The lefty starter would serve as a possible fourth or fifth starter with an ability to eat innings. Any major league team would benefit from this talent.

It was also no surprise the club pursued a reliever, specifically a setup man. Many Phillies’ fans expressed interest in Mike Adams and the organization delivered.  The former Texas Ranger had one of his worst seasons last year, but the Phillies saw potential to strengthen their pen. Adams and Phillies’ closer Jonathan Papelbon would be a filthy one-two combo.

The Phillies still have money to sign a veteran corner outfielder and should continue to pursue the spot, but we have to commend Amaro Jr. for filling holes in the lineup and not breaking the bank. All moves this offseason have been precise and indicate the team’s direction—chasing a championship next season and in the seasons to come. 

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