Philadelphia Phillies Will Need New Arms in Their Rotation for 2014

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Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

It is no secret that the Philadelphia Phillies will be looking to increase the talent level of their pitching staff. Especially after the rocky year they have had and a final week where the bullpen was over used and made up of pitchers who should have never stepped out onto a major league mound. That seems to be the story for the Phillies this season.

First the decision on whether or not Roy Halladay will be coming back to the team will have to be made. We already know that Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee will be the top two pitchers in the rotation. Beyond that there are no other guarantees. The team should decide to bid Halladay farewell and best of luck. He will never be the pitcher he was before. Speed aside, the movement of his pitches is just nonexistent. With Halladay gone, that leaves three slots open in the rotation.

So what are the Phillies’ options for a big pitching move next season? There are a couple of big name pitchers entering free agency. Those players are Matt Garza, Tim Lincecum and Ervin Santana. There is only one name on that list that makes any sense. Garza is the only one that still strikes fear into opposing batters.

Lincecum at one time in his career was dangerous; he was downright scary. The honeymoon is over, and he does not bring that spark any longer. Unless he is not going to be asking for a lot of money, he isn’t worth it. Santana certainly is talented, but I just don’t know if I see the Kansas City Royals letting him walk to another team. The Royals are getting much better than they have been in years past. Santana certainly can help get them to be a playoff contender.

This leaves Garza as the best option. If the Phillies are looking to make a splash this offseason and pay out money to lock up another big pitcher, he is the guy. He has an ERA of 3.82 and a WHIP of 1.24 this season. It is hard not to be intimidated by going up against Hamels, Garza and Lee.

It is very possible that the team will not try to acquire any big names to add to their rotation. There are a few decent pitchers who will not be as pricey and not as much of a risk. The Phillies could reach and bring in a guy like Josh Johnson or attempt to build from what they have. Although he had a rough season and was injured, Johnson is not a terrible fourth starter. He may even be able to hold up the third spot. Hopefully for fans, the Phillies try to make a move outside of the organization.

Matthew Regan is a Phillies writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattRegan5 .

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