Phillies Looking At Right-Handed Hitting Outfielders

The Phillies are "already looking at right-handed hitting outfielders," tweets ESPN's Buster Olney after talking to a rival evaluator.  At 4.05 runs per game, the Phillies' offense ranks seventh in the National League.  The team's OPS against left-handed pitching ranks 11th, with Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Ben Francisco, and Carlos Ruiz among those under .700.

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. cautioned this month, "You will not see a major move this year."  Amaro has made similar claims in the past before authoring big additions, and there has been much debate about whether to believe him this time as the team flirts with the luxury tax payroll threshold.  ESPN's Jayson Stark wrote in May that the Phillies have been "telling other teams they can only talk about hitters making no more than about half of [Hunter] Pence's $6.9 million."

Granted, trade partners can kick in cash or take back a bad contract, but only if the Phillies include better prospects.  The Astros sent the Phillies $11MM in the Roy Oswalt trade, but Amaro told's Todd Zolecki this is "not the same sort of situation."  A few available right-handed hitting outfielders making $3.5MM or less include Jeff Francoeur, Matt Diaz, Marcus Thames, as well as switch-hitter Melky Cabrera.  More interesting names such as Pence, Carlos Quentin, Ryan Ludwick, Josh Willingham, and Delmon Young are all under $7MM, and I wouldn't rule them out based strictly on salary.

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