In Philadelphia, plans are subjective to change by the minute. Led by the impetuous nature of general manager Ruben Amaro, the Phillies lack direction.
Thus far this offseason, their handling of the free-agent market and trade rumors circling out of Philadelphia belabor this point: This franchise is heading south, quickly.
After setting the outfield market by handing Marlon Byrd a two-year, $16 million contract in early November, the organization allotted a three-year commitment to a 35-year-old catcher months removed from a poor season.
The same thought process, misguided as it may appear, works in defense of the head-scratching deal given to starting pitcher Roberto Hernandez. Acquiring relief pitcher Brad Lincoln, at the expense of catcher Erik Kratz and lefty Rob Rasmussen, per Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, also fits the bill.
As delusional as those moves were, at least they were completed in the name of competing for a postseason berth in 2014.
What's transpired in the midst of those moves is beyond puzzling. As the Phillies take steps to ensure meaningful baseball next summer at Citizens Bank Park, half the roster has appeared in trade rumors.
From the logical (Domonic Brown), to the hopeless (Jonathan Papelbon), to the sentimental (Jimmy Rollins) to the full-scale rebuilding effort (Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels), the Phillies enter the latter portion of December at a crossroads of a critical offseason.
At some point soon, a roster must take shape for Ryne Sandberg's first spring training in Clearwater, Fla. as the man in charge. Juggling multiple scenarios, short-term hopes and long-term dreams are fine for December, but far from it in February.
In Philadelphia, fans want to see winning baseball again. From 2007-2011, no National League team dominated like the Phillies.
It will take time, patience and ingenuity to return a once proud and dominant franchise to respectability in the the NL East.
Here's what should be next for the Philadelphia Phillies.
*All statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference, unless otherwise noted.