Earlier this week, the Philadelphia Phillies jump-started both their offseason and that of the entire major leagues, striking first to sign outfielder and former Phillie Marlon Byrd to a two-year, $16 million contract. Byrd, who hit 24 home runs in 2013, is one of the less expensive sources of right-handed power, and Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. felt compelled to sign him quickly for that reason.
What Amaro may not have considered as much was that Byrd is 36 years old and is coming off a season that is hard-pressed not to be deemed an anomaly at this point. Given that Byrd was terrible in 2012 and was suspended 50 games for a banned substance, $8 million a year for two seasons—with a third-year option—is a bit excessive, to say the least.
Each free agent has his pros and cons, and it's Amaro's job to judge them before pursing a player extensively. Whether he did that with Byrd is immaterial now, but he can make sure that he does his due diligence before signing any more free agents to major contracts.
With that in mind, here are the pros and cons of five top offseason targets for the Phillies.