With all but a few minor tweaks remaining, and not much spare room for even those minor adjustments, the Philadelphia Phillies are just about ready to make their annual journey to Clearwater, Fla to prepare for the upcoming season.
It's going to be a tough season for the Phillies. This is a club mired in question marks, playing in a division that is only getting better—and that's with the Miami Marlins' fire sale this winter in mind. The Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals are two of the best teams in the National League.
What does that mean for the Phillies? It's time to take stock. This could very well be a "transition year" for the Phillies—one that sees them move some of their aging veterans in favor of younger players. It could also be one of the few "last shots" at a World Series ring.
A lot of that evaluation begins in spring training, although it is a relatively small sample size. The Phillies will be taking stock of their players and we'll be doing the same thing here. A player whose stock is rising is a player set to be more valuable this season, in a variety of manners that will vary from player to player, than he was in years past. A player whose stock is falling is a player who is set to be less valuable this season.
Some players will be labeled as holding steady. These are players whose stock will either not improve or decline significantly.