5 Players Philadelphia Phillies Could Sever Ties With This Offseason
5 Players That The Phillies Could Sever Ties With
It was an extremely disappointing season in 2013 for the Philadelphia Phillies. For the first time since 2002, the team finished under .500 with a 73-89 record. And for the second consecutive year, they failed to make the postseason after winning five straight division titles from 2007-2011. The Phillies finished in fourth place in the NL East, they had the third-worst record in the National League and finished with the seven-worst record overall in baseball. This is not what you would expect from a team with star power and one of the highest payrolls in baseball.
This year, it was Cole Hamels that suffered the Cliff Lee "no run support” treatment by going 8-14 with a 3.60 ERA.Roy Halladay was injured and ineffective, and Ryan Howard was injured again as well and has seemed to lose the power he once displayed.
The bullpen was miserable as well. Jonathan Papelbon blew seven saves, setup man Antonio Bastardo was suspended from the fallout of the Biogenesis case, while Mike Adams went down with injury and young guys like Phillipe Aumont and Justin De Fratus were incapable of stepping up consistently.
Despite the record, not everything was all bad. Domonic Brown finally broke out and looked like the prospect everyone thought he would be by hitting 27 home runs. Chase Utley stayed healthy for the most part, playing in 131 games, and we got to see a glimpse of the future with Darin Ruf and Cody Asche playing every day towards the end of the season.
Regardless, 73-89 is unacceptable for these players, this fan base and their general manager. Ruben Amaro Jr.. is going to have some tough decisions to make regarding the roster in 2014. It’s impossible to fully rebuild because I doubt anyone is willing to take on the awful contracts of Papelbon and Howard, but the Phillies need to build around their core guys with smart moves. This includes letting some guys go or trying to make trades.
Here are five guys the Phillies could sever ties with in 2014.
5. John Lannan
The Phillies thought Lannan was the perfect fifth starter to compliment Lee, Hamels, Halladay and Kendrick, but he couldn’t stay healthy and was ineffective, going 3-6 with a 5.33 ERA in 14 starts. Lannan was outrighted off the 40-man roster, and the Phillies will be moving on with some of their other pitching depth.
4. Jonathan Papelbon
I did mention that I don’t think anyone will be willing to take on Papelbon’s contract, but if that miracle does occur, Amaro will jump on the opportunity as quickly as possible. The Phillies realized quickly that an elite closer is useless if you don’t have any quality middle relief. Amaro would be wise to use the money to build the bridge to a closer, because a closer can be found without being paid big money -- just ask Koji Uehara.
3. Carlos Ruiz
I’m truly hoping this isn’t the case, but besides Halladay, Carlos Ruiz is the only impending free agent for the Phillies. Chooch is a hero in this town and although his numbers severely declined this season (.268/5/37 compared to .325/16/68 in 2012), the Phillies need him. Tommy Joseph is not ready, and the rest of the guys in Triple-A are not the future. Amaro might decide Ruiz’s production isn’t worth the contract he deserves, but hopefully he brings him back for one more run.
2. Kyle Kendrick
2013 was a tale of two seasons for Kyle Kendrick. Pre All-Star break, he was 8-6 with a 3.68 ERA. After the All-Star break, he went 2-7 with a 6.91 ERA. Amaro already said he would tender Kendrick’s contract in his final year of arbitration, which means he’ll be back next year. But hopefully, the Phillies can piggy-back a good first half in 2014 and trade him before he seeks a long-term contract prior to the conclusion of 2014.
1. Roy Halladay
No one will ever forget the Halladay that threw the postseason no-hitter and who was one of the best pitchers in baseball his first two years with the Phillies. But that is not the Halladay they have anymore. Now they have the guy who has lost command, velocity and health, and possessed a 6.82 ERA last season. He will forever be a Philly favorite, but it’s not worth it to give him a lucrative contract at this stage in his career. If he would accept an incentive-based deal, then the Phillies should take the chance because they lack starting pitching depth. Tyler Cloyd has struggled, Ethan Martin is more suited for the bullpen and Miguel Gonzalez is a question mark.