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News » Philadelphia Phillies Roster Report 2008-12-22

Philadelphia Phillies Roster Report 2008-12-22

Philadelphia Phillies Roster Report 2008-12-22
Now that they finally have won their first World Series championship since 1980, the Phillies are getting greedy. They want to repeat. But, in trying to position the Phillies for another title, new GM Ruben Amaro Jr. will face several critical offseason decisions. His first key pickup was LF Raul Ibanez, who signed a three-year, $31.5 million deal.

BIGGEST NEEDS: Primarily, Amaro will be faced with the challenge of keeping the nucleus of the championship team intact. The Phillies have few free agents, including longtime LF Pat Burrell, but 10 players are eligible for salary arbitration. Among them are 1B Ryan Howard and LHP Cole Hamels, the MVP of the NLCS and the World Series. The Opening Day payroll in 2008 was a club-record $104 million, and Amaro anticipates it will rise in 2009.

ARRIVALS: C Ronny Paulino (trade with Pirates), RHP Robert Mosebach (Rule 5 selection from Angels), LF Raul Ibanez (free agent from Mariners), RHP Chan Ho Park (free agent from Dodgers).

FREE AGENTS: LF Pat Burrell, RHP Rudy Seanez, RHP Tom Gordon, OF So Taguchi, INF Tadahito Iguchi.

Burrell is likely gone with Raul Ibanez taking his place and left field and in the middle of the lineup.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE: 1B Ryan Howard, LHP Cole Hamels, CF Shane Victorino, RF Jayson Werth, RHP Ryan Madson, RHP Chad Durbin, RHP Joe Blanton, INF/OF Greg Dobbs.

Amaro said none of the arbitration-eligible players will be too costly for the Phillies to keep. However, Howard won a record $10 million award last season and will be due another large raise, and Hamels will get a significant raise after his postseason performance. Don't be surprised if the Phillies discuss long-term contracts with both players.

IN LIMBO: One area of depth appears to be the outfield, where lefty-hitting Geoff Jenkins and Matt Stairs serve the same role. Jenkins has a prohibitive contract that includes a limited no-trade clause, and Stairs was the more productive hitter in the postseason, belting a memorable home run in Game 4 of the NLCS.


2B Chase Utley (right hip surgery in November 2008) faces a recovery time of four to six months, leaving his availability for Opening Day in question.

3B Pedro Feliz (lower back surgery in November 2008) is expected to be ready for spring training.

LHP Mike Zagurski (elbow ligament reconstruction in April 2008) is expected to be ready to pitch by the end of spring training.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: December 22, 2008

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