Winter meetings 2012: With FA options shrinking, Phillies’ search for center fielder may take unwanted turn

The Philadelphia Phillies accept a bind they were acquisitive to avoid.

From the time they traded centermost fielder Shane Victorino in July, they knew they would accept to acquisition his backup on the accessible market. General administrator Ruben Amaro Jr. has fabricated no abstruse about this, Heat Transfer Vinyl and the aggregation has been a amateur for anyone who it believes is an advancement at that position.

Winter affairs 2012: Recent signings ability abase the bazaar for Michael Bourn. Even then,Transfer paper the Phillies ability acquisition him too expensive. (AP Photo)

The botheration is the Phillies accept bound funds and two of their top targets, B.J. Upton and Angel Pagan, are off the market. That bureau their pockets accept to get added or they charge to accede added options besides a first- or second-tier centermost fielder.

“We didn’t accept a Plan A. We had like 10 Plan Bs,” Amaro told reporters at the winter affairs Monday afterwards he was asked how Upton and Pagan’s signings afflicted his agenda. “I just didn’t anticipate the exchange was all that able in the beginning. … There were some acceptable players out there, and there still are some acceptable players out there, but I don’t apperceive if there’s a difference-maker.”

Then Amaro added this: “Maybe one.”

That “one” is chargeless abettor Josh Hamilton, but his appear allurement amount appealing abundant assures the Phillies won’t assurance him. If Amaro was asked if he was in on that difference-maker, he said, “Come on. Next question.”

Amaro understands the aggrandized market, and he hasn’t been accommodating to overpay for what he doesn’t accept are aristocratic players. He didn’t accept it was account Heat Transfer Paper analogous the Atlanta Braves’ $75 actor action to Upton—$55 actor was Philly’s top offer—and he doesn’t anticipate Michael Bourn is account whatever he will accept from addition team.

On the added hand, the bazaar for Bourn shrank over the weekend if the Washington Nationals acquired Denard Span in barter with the Minnesota Twins, and that could beggarly Bourn’s amount will bead into the Phillies’ abundance area. One of the hangups will be that Bourn would amount the Phillies a first-round abstract aces because the Braves fabricated him a condoning offer.

Upton and Bourn are the “Plan As” about to the market; some of those “Plan Bs” apparently cover players who can’t play centermost field. Those bend outfielders aren’t what the Phillies capital to go afterwards if the offseason started.

As of now, the Phillies aren’t absorbed in bringing aback Victorino because they don’t see him authoritative the aggregation better. Because of that, Custom Iron On Transfers and because Upton and Pagan are signed, they ability accept to barter for a centermost fielder. Reports accept them talking to the Colorado Rockies about Dexter Fowler, but the Rockies will wish a lot for him and Fowler’s alley numbers—he is a .248 abroad hitter vs. .295 at home—suggest his breach ability be a artefact of Coors Field.

The Los Angeles Angels’ Peter Bourjos could accept been addition option, but the Angels absent Torii Hunter to chargeless bureau and they don’t like accepting Vernon Wells as a starter, so Bourjos is no best available.

The Phillies don’t accept an accessible centralized advantage for centermost field, so advance one or both corners would abate the charge for an appulse amateur at that spot. Nick Swisher has averaged 26 homers and an .850 OPS over the endure four seasons with the New York Yankees; Ryan Ludwick hit 26 home runs and had an .877 OPS endure division with the Cincinnati Reds. Swisher, though, would amount a abstract pick, Custom Letter and Number and 16 of Ludwick’s homers came in Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park, which is advanced of Coors Acreage in acceptance continued balls.

If the Phillies go the bend route, accepting a big bat in centermost won’t be as necessary, so continued as the new centermost fielder can play above-average defense.

And if the Phillies can’t acreage cogent outfield help, Custom Wall Decal again they just ability bifold down on their strength: pitching.

Roy Halladay is advancing off a accept abrasion and Vance Worley couldn’t echo the success of his 2011 amateur season, so Amaro ability opt to advance that allotment of the aggregation to affectation problems in the outfield.

“We may accept to put the money Custom Iron On Patches into casting instead,” Amaro said. “Make a backbone stronger.”

The next few canicule may adjudge that.

Posted in Journal.

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