This offseason has been a confusing one for the Philadelphia Phillies. They have yet to offer contract renewals to pitcher Roy Halladay and catcher Carlos Ruiz, and they have signed free agents who are well over the age of 35. It seems that this offseason will either be a hit or a miss; I am leaning more towards miss.
At the end of last season, the Phillies had many rookies up on their roster who ranged from the bullpen to the infield. It seemed as if the Phillies were going in the direction of beginning to rebuild and giving their rookies a chance to play. It now looks like that plan has changed, however, as every time a signing for the Phillies is announced, the player is in the older generation. It makes you question what the Phillies’ goals really are this offseason.
The Phillies need to focus on making their bullpen stronger. It would be wise to bring in a young arm who can shut batters down; instead, they signed reliever Shawn Camp, who is going to be turning 38 in a couple of days, to a minor league deal. He failed to perform well this past season for the Chicago Cubs, and his arm may be giving out.
The Phillies also made big news by bringing back 36-year-old outfielder Marlon Byrd. Why sign him when the Phillies had the option of Darin Ruf as a right fielder? He may have not been as productive as everyone was hoping, but he has a lot of time to improve. Ruf just needs the playing time, however, it now seems as if that will not happen unless anyone is in need of an off day, especially first baseman Ryan Howard.
The Phillies’ goals need to be focused on winning, while also going in the young direction. It seems they are more focused on winning, however. What happens when the older players’ time runs out? The Phillies will have nowhere to turn, as they just keep signing older and older players.
This offseason has already started to be interesting, and it is only November. It will be fun to watch what the team becomes by April.