The Philadelphia Phillies decision not to sign any players to long-term free agent deals this offseason shows that the team is relying on its current core to bounce back and have a healthy 2013 season.
The Phillies could’ve offered more money for B.J. Upton, offered Kevin Youkilis a multi-year deal or waited around for Michael Bourn’s decision. Instead, the Phils turned to either younger players, or players who could be acquired on short-term deals, in order to give themselves flexibility going forward.
Regardless of whom the team acquires this offseason, their best chances for improving are contingent on players such as Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Roy Halladay coming back strong from injuries and having seasons closer to their career norms.
Of course, that’s a big gamble to take.
Having these three players healthy could go a long way in determining next season’s level of success, but what about future seasons? The Phillies are currently set to enter next season with Halladay, Utley, Carlos Ruiz and even manager Charlie Manuel in the last years of their respective contracts.
Combine the expiring contracts with the health status of current players, and the job of general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. over the next few seasons will be far from easy.
Here are five bold predictions for the Phillies over the next three years as they work through various options while trying to keep a perennial contender on the field.