The Winds of Off-Season Change Blow Through Philly, Maybe - NBC 10 Philadelphia

The Winds of Off-Season Change Blow Through Philly, Maybe

Lots of names are being kicked around

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Winds of Off-Season Change Blow Through Philly, Maybe
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    The Phillies championship banner will greet phans in Ashburn Alley next season -- who will they see on the field remains a question.

    Get  used to the excitement Phillies fans, your reign at the top could be far from over.

    Enjoy heckling Mets fans -- for a legitimate reason this time. Enjoy the fresh 2008 World Series Champs flag that blows high above Ashburn alley. Savor those chills that run up and down your spine as you pass Citizens Bank Ballpark on I-95.

    And fans, enjoy this off-season.

    Imagine these next couple of months as one big Black Friday where nothing comes cheap.

    New General Manger Ruben Amaro has an empty shopping cart with lots on the store shelves.

    In recent days since we Philadelphians got off our parade high -- well some of us -- the trade winds have been carrying a lot of names all over the country and for the first time years the winds are blowing through Philly.

    The Phillies have made it clear that pitching and left field are their two biggest concerns. Here's a look at some possible trades/signings for the Phillies in the upcoming months.

    Some of the names on the watch list may seem unbelievable including an old familiar face.

    Let's first look at the lesser of the Phils concern -- left field.

    Pat Burrell: Is this man loved or hated in Philadelphia? Shut up all you hypocrites.

    Burrell's asking price may be too high considering he's seen as a premier slugger in the league. He's averaged 31 home runs, 103 runs batted in and a .257 batting average over his career.

    The statistic that puts Pat the Bat ahead of most is his career .367 on-base percentage -- way above the league average. This stat measures the talent of a player by how often he gets on base.

    Sorry Pat -- I don't see the Phillies bringing Burrell back. He will be asking for big money and the Phils will want to focus on locking down Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels with big paydays. 

    Jermaine Dye: He is going to be 35 in January but it doesn't seem as if he's lost a step in his game. His  power numbers continue to soar with 34 dingers and 99 RBIs last season for the ChiSox when he was an All-Star Game snub.

    Can you just imagine him hitting behind Howard? No seriously, close your eyes and imagine.

    His OBP is right around the league average but the Phils can over look that because of his defense.

    Dye has played in right field his whole career and he still has good range and a good arm, so there could be a possibility that he moves to left or Jayson Werth could go to the opposite coast.
     
    Another draw for Dye could be playing with fellow Oaklander Jimmy Rollins.

    Rocco Baldelli: Remember this guy? He launched a Ryan Madson fastball deep into the late October night in Game 5 of the World Series.

    He's only 27 and the Phils like this guy, a lot, but like so many other teams they will be hesitant to sign him to any long term contract because of health concerns.

    Baldelli hasn't played a full season since, well, his rookie year. He was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, which prevents him from playing long periods of time because of muscle failure.

    This could be a one-year deal but that doesn't solve the long term void.

    Jerry Hairston, Jr:This guy comes from a long family of baseball tradition. He can play all over the field including, yep, left. He played six different positions for the Reds last year posting above-the-league-average fielding percentages at every position except center and shortstop, the two toughest positions.

    He can't hit for power but for average with a .326 average and .384 OBP, both career highs, in 80 games last season. Then again it could have been a fluke.

    Kevin Mench: this Delaware native has come up in trade talks before, but it doesn't seem to make sense for the Phils to grab him. Let's not discuss his offensive numbers although he did hit 51 homers combined in 04-05 but that was a long, long time ago.

    Let's talk pitching.

    Jamie Moyer: The Phils seem set on signing this guy. He's a hometown favorite with local ties and he had a more-than-asked-for season in 2008.

    Despite turning 46 next week -- yeah that's not a typo, 46 -- Moyer led the Phils with 16 wins and was second among starters with a 3.71 earned run average.

    The crafty southpaw is invaluable to the team and hey come on, they owe him.

    Ryan Madson: "Mad Dog" is up for arbitration and he's gonna want some money. It seems like decades ago since Madson and Tom Gordon were on death row by the phans. He pitched  phenomenally down the stretch and Charlie Manuel has him set as the 8th inning guy, a.k.a. "The Bridge to Lidge."

    Adam Eaton: Eat up his $8 million. Get this bum the heck out of Philadelphia.

    That being said, the whammy of all off-season talks to date is no other than...

    Drum roll please...

    Curt Schilling: It's been eight long years and three World Series rings later but Schilling has expressed interest in returning to the Phillies. Amaro said that he hasn't considered the idea yet so up until this point there has been no word if these two have discussed anything.

    Bringing back Schills is an entertaining thought.

    His career took off after his stellar performance in the 1993 post-season and he has been one of the most reliable pitchers in baseball ever since. Schilling will turn 42 on Friday and his age has shown over the last several seasons, missing the entire 2008 season.

    Schilling coming back seems unlikely. The Phillies want to add youth to their staff and Schilling, despite his recent performance, is almost like a brand name. That alone will get him mucho dinero.

    Then again, who would have thought Phils phan would get to watch the championship flag blow in the wind.