The Philadelphia Phillies have an outfield full of talented yet inexperienced players, and many fans want to see the club sign or trade for a proven veteran in order to balance the roster.
But would this be a smart move?
First, let’s look at the talent still available in the market. According to MLBtraderumors, there are still a decent number of outfielders unsigned, but only a few could offer value to the Phillies.
Scott Hairston, Austin Kearns, Delmon Young and Kosuke Fukudome are left in the free-agent pool and might offer the team some limited help. But with this group of available talent, the Phillies should slowly tiptoe away from any deals.
Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reported Ruben Amaro Jr. is looking for a potential outfielder to sign in order to stir competition among players, much like restaurant owners who overstaff servers. The better server earns more shifts.
Now this is not a bad theory, but it is an unnecessary one. Philadelphia has a nice foundation of young players in the outfield, who may be successful for many seasons.
The Phils should also stay away from trades before the season begins. Yes, there are big names mentioned like Justin Upton, but the club would have to give up a lot of talent for a player of his caliber—talent the team cannot afford to lose.
The club could potentially look at another reliever, but overall, the roster should be set for spring training. It’s time to let the kids run out and enjoy a major league season at full speed. With the youth in the outfield and aging veterans manning the infield, the Phillies have a nice balance in the lineup.
Darin Ruf, Domonic Brown and newcomer Ben Revere all have potential to be big players in the league, but need to take their games to the next level and own their positions.
Now, if at midseason the Phillies are terrible, mediocre or pushing for the playoffs, that would be the time for a trade. Under those circumstances, at least the youngsters would be given a chance to prove their abilities—and the club would be able to properly evaluate their talents.