General manager Pat Gillick hinted to the Philadelphia Daily News that the Phillies will try to trade Pat Burrell and replace him with someone who can better protect Ryan Howard.
"We're going to have to continue to look for a little more offense. We know we're probably... Pat has had a really difficult time protecting Howard," Gillick told the Daily News. Outfielder Alfonso Soriano and third baseman Aramis Ramirez were listed as top possibilities.
The Phillies have glaring holes in the rotation and bullpen, but a dependable, right-handed bat might still be their number one need. Taking it a step further, a slugging, right-handed third baseman like Ramirez would be like hitting the jackpot. It may also be their best opportunity to add an impact player of any kind this offseason. All the best pitching figures to be headed to the larger markets or to pitcher's parks. The Phillies are destined to do what they always do pitching-wise, and that's dabble around the edges.
It all comes down to this: You can’t let the best pure power hitter in the league go to waste like he did the last two weeks of the season. It's one area that makes total sense to lock in with a guy like A-Ram to give Howard that protection. The Phillies' MVP candidate won't become a free agent for another four seasons, making him a fixture throughout his prime. After a season of cost-cutting and a surprising turnout, the Phillies should have the resources to make it happen.