October 08, 2011

Was this the Phillies' last, best chance?

IT sure looks the Philadelphia Phillies could age overnight, at least at the plate. The AP confirms that 1B Ryan Howard did tear his Achilles tendon in Friday's NLDS loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. Per Cot's Contracts, their biggest player contract decision is on Roy Oswalt, followed by Jimmy Rollins. Raul Ibanez is a no-brainer to let go, unless he comes back cheap.

Given that he's not had a killer full season since 2008, I can't see Philly agreeing to the $16M mutual option. Will Oswalt agree to something like 2/$24 or 3/$33? Would Philly do that? Would it do that with an eye to a sign-and-trade?

Rollins hasn't played above replacement level since 2007. He's gone, unless he comes back for what he made this year.

Per position player free agents, Philly could aim for Jose Reyes and/or look for an outfielder on the cheap if it doesn't trust John Mayberry Jr. to step up and replace Ibanez.

And, the Phillies' outlook next year also depends on what the Atlanta Braves do. Late-season meltdown aside, the Braves' record was about what I thought it would be at the start of the season. Coming back angry next year, especially if management takes a free-agent plunge, I think the Braves have to be considered NL East favorites.

No comments: