Top 5 Free Agent Center Fielders Philadelphia Phillies Should Target
The Philadelphia Phillies are certain needs in the off-season that the franchise needs to address. The first thing the team did was to keep manager Charlie Manuel around for one more season. Although it has been a down year, Manuel has done anything detrimental to the ball club.
The next thing the team did was naming Ryne Sandberg the third base coach. Sandberg seems to be on the right track to become the manager of the Phillies or any team for that matter and it has been long overdue. But Sandberg’s potential managing blossoming is not what this slideshow is about.
The Phillies have a need in the outfield as the meadow that Shane Victorino roamed is not filled with Victorino anymore. John Mayberry, Jr. took over that spot when Victorino was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, the inexperience of Mayberry, Jr. is becoming a concern for GM Ruben Amaro Jr,.
The general manager told Jim Sailsbuy of CSNPhilly.com that filling the center field is a concern that will be addressed during the off-season. With the center field spot being open, the team is also looking to bring in offense in the form of runs scored and RBIs. If Amaro, Jr. wants to increase those numbers, he is going to have to open up his wallet a little bit.
The top prize on the market seems to be Josh Hamilton, but with his increasing age and value seemingly to be on the decline, it is unknown if the Phillies will have the budget for him or if he will be productive in the National League.
Who should the Phillies target? Well, look at the show.
New York Yankees power hitting center fielder, Curtis Granderson, is unlikely to hit the free agent market but it is nice to dream for the Phillies.
Granderson still has $15 million club option for 2013 and a $2 million buy out. If he were to hit the free agent market, it will be to restructure his current deal and not to test the waters.
Ross has the ability to play all over the outfield. He did not have a bad defensive year in 2012 only committing one error. He did have two double plays as well.
Angel Pagan was traded from the New York Mets to the Giants for Andres Torres. Needless to say, Pagan had a bit of a better year with the Giants. Crazy Horse batted .288/.338/.440 in 154 games with the Giants this season.
If Pagan hits free agency, he could be a very undervalued solution at center field. His good fielding percentage with his speed is the perfect combination for what the Phillies could be looking for. Plus, it will not break their wallets.
Michael Bourn is going to be a hot commodity on the free agent market as it is expected that he tests this year. Bourn came over to the Atlanta Braves on a one-year deal and if he tests the waters, he could get a three-year deal somewhere.
His speed is deadly and what makes it better is that he was already a Phillie at one point Bourn was traded to the Houston Astros in part of the Brad Lidge deal
Bourn stole 42 bases this season with the Braves but was caught a league-leading 13 times. He could be a useful player at the top of the Phillies lineup.
Another big name free agent this upcoming off-season will be B.J. Upton. Upton will be the second-most talked about outfielder behind Josh Hamilton when it comes to this market.
To get Upton's speed and power, the Phillies are going to have to open up the bank account a bit. It is not going to be easy to get Upton but if they do, he could add some protection in the lineup for Ryan Howard.
Who do you think the Phillies should target?