Tim Malcolm, who runs, by far, the best pure Phillies blog that I have found on the web has thrown out several interesting tidbits about the upcoming offseason for the World Champions (and, yes, I will be writing that as often as possible).
Most of them revolve around the potential hole in leftfield, once Pat Burrell jets for an American League designated hitter role. The most interesting names, in my opinion, that have been thrown out there are Magglio Ordonez, Matt Holliday, Milton Bradley, and of course, Manny Ramirez.
Bradley is a free agent and probably is looking for a 4- or 5-year deal. Given his past (I know he was a model citizen and a bonafied all-star this year), I would be a bit scared to offer Bradley that long of a deal.
Ordonez is due to make $18 million this year and it seems as if the Tigers are just looking to move that salary, which means that acquiring Ordonez might be relatively cheap in the context of what the Phils would need to give Detroit in exchange for Ordonez.
Holliday, on the other hand, would not be cheap, baseball-wise. The Rockies asked for JA Happ and Carlos Carrasco last year, though now that they see their time with Holliday nearing its end, they may settle for just one of them. Plus, if you throw in the fact that resigning Holliday will be difficult after this year, it is a pretty big risk for the Phillies. Though, I am not one of those people who disparage Holliday’s ability simply because he plays in Coors Field, the difference between his numbers in Denver and those on the road are startling.
Then, there’s Manny. If you could guarantee me the Manny that we saw this year in August, September, and October, I would say back up the truck and give him a blank check. But, if you told me that we would be getting the Manny from April through July, I would say: “STAY AWAY.” (And, I think that the fans of every single baseball team in America feels that exact same way, even those in Boston).
Of the three, I think–dare I say it–Milton Bradley might be the best option, if the Phillies can talk him down to 2-3 years. But, then again, I would not mind seeing Matt Holliday or Magglio Ordonez hitting 3rd, sandwiched between Utley and Howard. And, as far as Manny goes, I think they should probably get involved to test the market, but let us remember that chemistry went as far as talent in bringing Philadelphia the first championship in 100 professional seasons, and Manny is, at best, a clubhouse shakeup, and at worst, a clubhouse cancer.
With the risk of “burying the lead” in this column, I also need to mention that Mr. Malcolm has also uncovered a story in the San Jose Mercury News that reports the Phillies may be listening to trade offers for Jimmy Rollins. With Jason Donald flying through the minors and not feeling totally comfortable at thirdbase, this might be something that the Phillies have talked about, internally, though it scares me to death to think of raising a banner without Jimmy Rollins in uniform.