Even though baseball's 2013 winter meetings may be nearing their conclusion, there's still time for both players and teams to strike deals with one another. Many of the offseason's top free agents, including Robinson Cano, Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann, are now off the table, but plenty of other options remain.
The starting pitching market is especially abundant for this time of year, and most of the blame goes to Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka is highly regarded by many as the top (potentially) available starter this offseason, but with new provisions soon to be enacted regarding Nippon Professional Baseball's posting system, Tanaka's team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, may be hesitant to post their ace.
Consequently, Tanaka's posting status is up in the air, but whether or not he is posted, the starting pitching market should be taking shape sooner rather than later. Players and teams can only wait so long before standstill talks gain steam. That time lurks in the near future.
For the Philadelphia Phillies, this starting pitching bounty bodes well for them. Considering that the only locks for the rotation are Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, another veteran starting pitcher is needed behind the other two, especially if one of the "silly" rumors, according to general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. (via the Philadelphia Daily News), regarding their trade availability actually materializes.
Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reported that the Phillies are seeking rotation and bullpen help, and while trades are possible, free agency is the likely route. With that in mind, here are five candidates still available on the open market within the Phillies' reach—and resources.