The Philadelphia Phillies entered the offseason with a handful of questions that needed answering and have managed to address nearly all of them while keeping their payroll at a reasonable level.
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was able to address the team’s needs at third base and center field through the trade market, and found an eighth inning reliever and fifth starter for the rotation through free agency.
However, these moves, and lack thereof, have led to a new set of questions heading into spring training.
By having not yet acquired another corner outfielder, and preferably someone who bats from the right side, the Phillies currently have only one starter in their outfield set in stone for next season. Are the Phillies comfortable heading to spring training with the corner outfielders currently on the roster as their only options?
By trading for Michael Young from the Texas Rangers, the Phillies were able to strengthen their bench by moving Kevin Frandsen into a reserve role. But where will Freddy Galvis now start the season?
Are Michael Martinez and Pete Orr really the best candidates for the reserve infielder roles?
These are some of the questions that the Phillies now face as the offseason continues and rosters further take shape. However, unlike those questions that will be answered once the season starts, such as whether or not Chase Utley can remain healthy for a full 162 game schedule, the new set of questions represent decisions that must be made much sooner.
Once spring training begins, an offseason’s worth of strategizing will culminate in a battle for 25 roster spots, but the key pieces must be put in place beforehand.
Here are five decisions that the Phillies will have to make before spring training.