MLB Philadelphia Phillies

Ranking The Philadelphia Phillies’ 5 Biggest Offseason Needs

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Ranking The Philadelphia Phillies' 5 Biggest Offseason Needs

Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies are coming off a second straight tumultuous campaign. Not a lot went right for the ball club as they finished 73-89 and had their first losing season in a long time.

The awful start to the season cost long-time skipper Charlie Manager his job. In comes new blood in the form of Ryne Sandberg. He has a quiet demeanor but demands more out of his players and wont accept the lolly gagging and mediocrity we have seen the past few years. One man who has been seriously called into question is Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.

He simply has built the team the wrong way. The Phillies have one of the oldest rosters in baseball and yet not many of the kids have been brought up and given a chance in the past few years. What is the first move he makes in free agency? Signing a 36-year-old Marlon Byrd to a two-year $16 million deal. It's simply unacceptable.

There is no doubt Amaro Jr. is on the hot seat. If The Phillies under perform again this year, he will no doubt be out of a job. The Phillies have a lot of work to do to patch up some holes throughout the roster whether it be through trade or free agency.

The key for Amaro Jr. should be not to over spend and to acquire as many young assets as he can to build this roster for not just now but the future. Having said all that, let's take a look at the Phillies five biggest offseason needs.

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5. Starting Catcher

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It looks as though long-time Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz will be parting ways with the club. The Phillies then need to dip into the catching market in free agency. They have been linked heavily to AJ Pierzynski. This move would make sense as he gives them a veteran catcher who also has some pop.

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4. Right-Handed Power Hitter

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The Phillies who are a left-handed dominant team desperately need a right-handed impact power bat. They recently made a move for Marlon Byrd but I don't think he's the answer. He may fit in as a fourth outfielder but they need a true game-changing bat. Nelson Cruz is still on the market and if the price is right, he would make perfect sense as a guy to stick behind Ryan Howard in the lineup.

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3. True Center Fielder

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The Phillies lack a multi-dimensional center fielder. Ben Revere had a decent year but he has major limitations. He is basically a slap hitter with no power, and a very weak arm in center. The Angels are said to be shopping Peter Bourjos. He would fit perfectly in center field as a young outfielder who has some pop and is a plus defender.

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2. Starting Pitching

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The Philadelphia Phillies have two horses at the top of their rotation in Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee but not a lot after that. They need a No. 3 that they can count for innings and effectiveness. Matt Garza would be the perfect fit. He has great stuff, doesn't walk guys and is durable. The Phillies should break the bank for this guy if they need to.

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1. Relief Pitching

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Relief pitching was arguably the Phillies most glaring weakness. They tried young guys and veterans in the seventh and eighth innings nothing seemed to work. The Phillies need a reliable bridge to closer Jonathan Papelbon. They should target Edward Mujica. Mujica is relatively young at 29, had a great season closing for the Cardinals and would be the perfect setup man for Papelbon.