Let’s catch up on the rumors and minor moves involving the Phillies recently.
One offseason objective is, of course, third base. Abraham Nunez was an easy buyout decision; Pat Gillick will import a new third baseman this winter one way or another. Phils fans can stop dreaming up A-Rod scenarios; Gillick won’t pursue him. Mike Lowell is the one free agent 3B on the Phils’ radar. While Lowell wouldn’t mind playing in Philly, he made it clear yesterday that Boston remains his first choice. So there’s a good chance Gillick will have to get his man via trade. Scott Lauber names Garrett Atkins and Joe Crede (free agent after ’08, Boras client) as possible targets. We all know how Gillick loves dealing with Kenny Williams (and the Sox can use Josh Fields at third base).
Rod Barajas won’t be retained; Chris Coste will serve as the backup to Carlos Ruiz. A nice, cheap catching tandem.
How about pitching? Randy Miller has a source saying the Phils are targeting a couple of AL East stalwarts – Curt Schilling and Mariano Rivera. To sign Rivera at $12MM per and use Brett Myers in setup seems like a misallocation of resources to me. As for Schilling, Miller says he’s expressed interest in coming back to Philly to finish his career. I like the fit.
Miller also has some very interesting info on Aaron Rowand – he’s looking for a six-year, $84MM contract! Does that mean he ends up with a five-year, $60MM deal? Pretty hefty for a guy coming off a career year. Miller says the Phils won’t go for big-name replacements like Andruw Jones or Torii Hunter.
Finally, Pat Burrell has surfaced as a solid trading chip. He’s left with a reasonable one-year, $14MM commitment, albeit with a full-no trade clause that would require more compensation. How about Burrell to the White Sox for Crede? Phils kick in a couple mil, the White Sox get much-needed OBP for ’08 plus draft picks when Burrell leaves.