Let's face it Phillies fans. Ruben Amaro has given us a team filled with fools gold. It's long been known, "those who have the gold… rule". We need to make at least one big move, and several other smaller key moves to rule the kingdom of Baseball once again.
Big Move: We have to make a splash in this market, but most importantly, we have to do it in a smart fashion. We need to go after one specific big fish in the starting pitching market. Why a starting pitcher? The old adage "pitching wins world series" is just true in baseball. There's one move, and one move only that can make a big splash like that. That's to sign this Japanese pitcher, Tanaka. The guy is suppose to be a legit number two starer, with number one potential. Throw this guy into our mix, and we once again have a big three: Lee, Hamels, Tanaka. With any luck this Cuban Gonzalez kid turns out to be a true three/four, and we let Kendricks and Pettibone fight it out for the with spot. Two reasons this signing makes complete sense for the Phils. One, we don't loose a draft pick. Two, we should be able to lock this guy down for 10 to 12 million/5 years toward our salary cap. Which is doesn't cripple us financially now, or for the future. Also, this move will give us some wiggle room to make some other moves which we really need. I know were going to have to spend another 60 million a year just to talk to the guy. But, it's not toward our cap number, so what do we really care. Sixty million now, to keep attendance up to where it use to be will yield that money back twofold. Plus, we're going to be getting an additional 100 million dollars a year from our new tv contract. So, were not going to be financially strapped. The best part about this move is it instantly makes us competitive. That makes my mouth salivate.
Calculated Risk Move: Unfortunately, for some reason our front office doesn't want to just spend, spend, spend like the Yankees seem to do. So, we need to make some low risk, high reward type investments. Let's take a chance on Grady Sizemore. Give him a one year incentive based deal. I know he's a lefty and hasn't played in two years, but when he was healthy, he was the best centerfielder in the game. If he can come back to anywhere close to that. We have a player who can take over in center field and be a game changer.That's a risk I'd like to take. Plus, it should be an inexpensive risk, that we can dump if it doesn't work out. Why this move? I don't like having a guy with no power in centerfield. I don't care how many bases he steals. Regardless, If they make this move or not. We need to do something about our center fielder. I have a quick alternate solution. I would put Marlyn Byrd in center, and let Darin Ruf man right. Ruf will gives u an instant 20 home runs and hit 250. That's what we need in this lineup to be successful, right handed power. We also need Byrd to have a similar year to last year to make this outfield competitive. Which, I'm quite confident he won't be able to do. Look for less then 15 dingers out of him. In doing this, Revere is still going to see 400 at bats any way. Because, Ruf, is going to be playing some at first for Howard. Dominic Brown seems to get hurt every year as well, and Byrd is just old. So, he's gonna need some time off as well. I know we're going to suffer defensively. But, if you look at the overall numbers, having the extra power over the better defense is going to give us more wins. The last I checked, that's our objective.
Relief help:We have some good young arms. But, we need some veteran help as well. Not sure if Mike Adams will be back, and more importantly, if his back will be back. So, here's what I would like to do. I'd like to take a low risk, high reward gamble on Ryan Madson. He's been out for two years, but is still relatively young for a reliever at 33, and I've always loved him. Offer him a one year incentive based deal. If he bounces back, we have one of the best set up men in the game for a steal. If not, we can at least reminisce to his lights out pitching in 2008. I think we still need to get one other non risk reliever. I liked, Edward Mujica, from St. Louis, but he's off the table. So, I like Francisco Rodriguez/Chris Perez. Both have good track records in set up roles and will bring the kind of veteran stopper we need at the back end of this bullpen.
Lastly, let's see what Mikael Franco looks like this spring. I like Cody Ashe, but he doesn't have that super star appeal that Franco has. Imagine being able to interject 20 home runs at the third base in this lineup. Who knows what this kid really is, but wouldn't that be great. That would instantly make this a very viable offense.
Here's what we look like with these moves. A much more balanced lineup, with some real pop. I'm putting my projections for this lineup for next year with this lineup.
Jimmy Rollins, 2014 Projection: Avg 250, 12hr, 20sb, 40 RBI
Chase Utely, 2014 Projection: AvG,265, 16hr, 65RBI, 9sb
Marlyn Byrd, 2014 Projection: AVG, 285, 13hr, 55RBI
Ryan Howard, 2014 Projection: Avg 265, 28hr, 105 RBI
Darin Ruf, 2014 Projection: Avg 250, 20 hr, 60RBI
Dom Brown, 2014 Projection: Avg, 265, 18hr, 68 RBI
Mikael Franco, 2014 Projection: Avg 270, 18 hr, 60 RBI
Grady Sizemore, 2014 Projection: Avg 250, 20 SB, 15HR
2. Cliff Lee
4. Miguel Gonzalez
5. Jonathan Petibone/Kyle Kendricks
Francisco Rodriguez/Chris Perez