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Thursday, November 10, 2005

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i'm back and forth on this signing. i would love to have his production again but (a) can we expect it at 39 and (b) what does he want in terms of a contract?

From everything I've read on the situation, it's a longshot Lofton will be back with the Phils. It's tough to say what he will be looking for contract-wise - he may actually want more because he hit so well. I did not feel he was all that overpriced at $3 million last season, but I did hear that interest from the Phils was minimal because of his pricetag.

As for his age, I think Lofton is one of those guys with a pretty steady battery, even at 39. He is a part-time player though. It would be a risk playing him 162 games.

Great post, Jason.

Lofton literally did not get off on the right foot last season with his "I ain't running into any walls" comment, but in the end he did provide the Phillies with decent defense and better than average offense. But with his history it was a virtual certainty he wouldn't be back. A year in one place is about all one can expect from Lofton at this stage of his career.

The 2006 season will mark the umpteenth year in a row the Phillies have an unsettled situation in centerfield. When Marlon Byrd turned out to be a bust all of their plans fell apart. In retrospect, it may not have been such a great idea to place so much faith in Byrd's development either, but it was understandable given his performance in the minors.

The problem for the Phils is that they really have too many holes to fill. I know you have argued they are close, but I don't share that optimisim. Several weeks ago I wrote that if they acquired a frontline starter, a real ace, they could probably enter next season with the same 24 others guys currently on their roster and seriously contend. But now it appears they might have to let a corner outfielder go to get an established pitcher, and they would then need to replace two outfield positions. Throw in the closer situation, third base and catching and things look far less certain than they did at the end of 2005.

Good points Tom.

Admittedly, with every passing day, time to think about what they really need, or rumor that the Mets could be looking at Manny and Wagner, the Phils get farther away.

When the season ended, I would have taken the Phils over any team in the division, including Atlanta, a team that didn't impress me and was bounced easily from the playoffs. That standing could all change by April - the Phils could be closer, or in the rear view. Gillick's hand could really be forced in bullpen. Offering arbitration to Padilla seems necessary now, to give the team security as a starter or reliever. If Wagner bolts, which is likely, they will be forced to consider older players like Todd Jones or Bob Wickman.

The division might be won in the offseason.

Todd Jones is never coming back here.

Yea, I don't understand why Todd Jones' name keeps coming up. Do people forget that easily? He absolutely hates this city, and we absolutely hate him, not the least of which because he was a terrible reliever.

OK then. Scratch Jones off the list.

Just say no to Todd Jones. Last year was his last hurrah.

Thome for Beltran! Then neither team has a problem with two 1B's and two CF's and can figure out what to do with their overpriced contracts later :)

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