We're two and a half months into the off-season, and the Phillies have added an outfielder, re-signed their veteran catcher, traded for a late-inning non-closer, and signed a decent back-end of the rotation right-hander.
Going into the off-season, other than the general issue of a decrease in production all around, the Phillies had four major personnel holes: an outfielder, catcher, late-inning non-closer, and the back-end of their rotation.
Notice an overlap? Which is why I'm convinced this is it. What we have now is, barring injury, what we're going to see on the field come April 2014. Ruben Amaro has completed his checklist, so his winter is done until arbitration time.
All those rumors about listening to deals for Brown and looking to trade Lee? Nonsense. Amaro is spending the next month with his Blackberry turned off far far away from baseball.
Thus, here are your 2014 Phillies:
Starting eight: Carlos Ruiz, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Cody Asche, Domonic Brown, Ben Revere, Marlon Byrd
Bench: Wil Nieves, Kevin Frandsen, Freddy Galvis, Darin Ruf, John Mayberry, Cesar Hernandez
Starting rotation: Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick, Roberto Hernandez, Miguel Gonzalez/Jonathan Pettibone
Bullpen: Jonathan Papelbon, Mike Adams, Antonio Bastardo, Brad Lincoln, B.J. Rosenberg, Ethan Martin, Jake Diekman
Of course, the ends of the bench and bullpen may vary slightly, but this essentially is your 2014 team. Faced with a 73 win team last year, a team with the worst run differential in its league, Amaro basically threw up his hands this off-season. He said that he didn't know how to fix the team, so he filled holes and is now calling it quits.
No creative trades. No outside-the-box thinking. No surprise acquisition based on advanced analysis. No bold vision for the future. Just more of the Amaro same: hope that the aging core can find the fountain of youth for one last fling. It didn't work in 2012 or 2013, but hey, maybe it will in 2014!
On a sleepy baseball Monday, what do you think? Is this it for the Phillies this off-season? Or will the 2014 Phillies look different than what we have now? Answer the poll here and add your comments below.