For the Philadelphia Phillies, 2011 is an incredibly important year. Not only is it their best shot to win a World Series since 2008, but it may also be one of their few remaining shots to win in the next decade.
The Phillies window of opportunity is beginning to close as the years go by. Not only is the team getting older, but they are also going to be faced with a lot of free agent decisions for the 2012 season. As most of their guys approach or move into their late 30s, with their best years behind them, the Phillies have to start thinking about the future.
In Ruben Amaro's tenure as GM, the team has had a "win now" mentality even it means mortgaging the future, something that may end up costing the Phillies in the long run. If the Phillies want to maintain their NL East dominance, they have to get younger, and without the help of top prospects, this becomes more difficult.
Ryan Howard and Chase Utley won't be around forever, and according to some, are already beginning to put their best years behind them, and Jimmy Rollins is a big question mark. Will he stay or will he go?
Regardless of what happens in the next few years with the Phillies core, they need to start considering bringing in younger and less expensive guys.
Here are some of the available free agents for the 2012 season that will help the Phillies get younger at every position.