Real quickly, here are the stories in play for the Phillies right now:
- They're pursuing Cubs super-utilityman Mark DeRosa, either straight up or as part of the Chicago-San Diego deal for Jake Peavy. DeRosa is 33 and coming off a career year, but he's a guy who does everything pretty well--hits for average, hits for power, plays decent-to-good defense at multiple positions--and is signed for 2009 at $5.5 million. Rumored to be going the other way are J.A. Happ and Chris Coste. DeRosa probably would start the year at second base for the injured Chase Utley, then shift to left field upon Utley's return. Oh, and I think I'm legally obligated to mention that DeRosa is a University of Pennsylvania graduate who played quarterback for the Quakers during the mid-'90s.
- Other outfield options include Juan Rivera, Raul Ibanez, and Delmon Young. Rivera's coming off a bad year, but he could be a decent relatively low-cost option in a platoon. Ibanez is coming off a good year, and would be a terrible idea: he's four years older than Pat Burrell, plays almost as badly in the field, is left-handed, and would cost the Phils their first-round draft pick. Young is 23 and cheap, and has all-world talent, but fell into the bad graces of two organizations in the space of two years. Still, he'd be my clear choice.
- As the Jamie Moyer contract negotiations have bogged down and bad blood seems to be rising on both sides, the Phillies have started to explore other options including Derek Lowe and possibly Braden Looper and/or Randy Wolf. Moyer reportedly is seeking at least two years and $14 million, and maybe as much as $20 million.
- Manager Charlie Manuel wants his 2010 option picked up, and a third year guaranteed at $3 million. It's expected he'll get it, but then everyone thought Moyer would be signed by now as well.
Feel free to discuss these and any other Phillies-related goings-on right here.