The Phillies have been busy putting together their on and off-field team for 2005. The manager and coaching staff are in place; many player decisions remain to be made. Here are some suggestions on the next moves:
1. Trade Randy Wolf for a centerfielder. Randy is not going to thrive in Philadelphia. Wrong stuff for the wrong place. His value remains good enough to land a veteran outfielder of more or less comparable age.
2. Send Gavin Floyd to Scranton.
3. Send Cole Hamels to Reading, then Scranton.
4. Take a serious look at either Kris Benson, Brad Radke, Matt Clement or Jaret Wright. I realize a few of these guys are likely to re-sign with their current clubs, but since they opted for free agency at the very least they would probably listen to any offers.
1. Trade David Bell. This might be very difficult given his age, injury history and salary. Eat part of his salary if necessary but move him now.
2. Re-sign Placido Polanco and hand him Bell’s job. Polanco would listen to an offer from the Phils if he knew Bell were leaving.
3. Sign Jimmy Rollins to a long-term contract and stop jerking him around. He should lead off. Full Stop. Period.
4. Put Chase Utley at second base.
5. Do not, repeat Do not, trade Ryan Howard. His day is coming sooner than later.
1. There don’t seem to be many alternatives to Mike Lieberthal at the moment. He, too, might thrive with a new pitching coach in place.
2. Re-sign Todd Pratt.
1. See No. 1 under Pitching. If the Phils can pry Andruw Jones from Atlanta, their problems in centerfield are solved for the next few years at least.
2. Give Pat Burrell one more year to revive.
3. Get off Bobby Abreu’s case about fielding. He ain’t gonna’ change and he ain’t all that bad anyway. Plus, he can hit with the best of them and steal bases, too.