Phillies Links: Howard, Contracts, NL East

The Phillies won 102 games during the regular season, but won only two during the best-of-five NLDS. Because last night's loss to Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals wasn't bad enough, Ryan Howard suffered a serious Achilles injury on the final play of the game. Let's round up the latest from Philadelphia…

  • In a press release, the team announced that Howard has a rupture of his right Achilles tendon. He'll have surgery after the swelling subsides, and a timetable for his return won't be known until after the procedure is performed. There is "no guarantee he will be ready for spring training," says the release.
  • Bob Brookover of The Philadelphia Inquirer dug through the Phillies roster, and says they might have to go over the luxury tax threshold next season in order to patch all their holes.
  • David Murphy of The Philadelphia Daily News put together of list of questions the Phillies must answer this offseason. Howard's injury figures to impact their 2012 plans.
  • MLB.com's Brian McTaggart wrote about the key contract decisions the team has to make. The Phillies have about $113MM in commitments for next season, but Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Madson, Brad Lidge, and Roy Oswalt can all become free agents (Lidge and Oswalt have pricey options).
  • Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com says the Phillies could open a window of opportunity for the other teams in the NL East if they decide to fill some of their roster holes with youth.

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