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Wednesday, November 07, 2007


From Salisbury's column today:

"Phillies general manager Pat Gillick knew it was going to be this way. Remember the night the Phils were knocked out of the National League playoffs by Colorado? After that game, Gillick said improving a pitching staff that had a 4.76 ERA in 2007 was his off-season goal. He then quickly added, "But I can't make any promises."

A month later, Gillick still seems to be telling fans not to get their hopes high. Yesterday, he said he would consider this a good off-season if the Phillies could add one starting pitcher and one reliever."

If this team only gets a single starting pitcher and one reliever, they aren't making the playoffs next year. That would barely be enough to bring them back to the status quo let along actually improve their woeful pitching.

Already you can see how the Phils are beginning to insulate themselves for a soft landing with their fans if they aren't able to improve their pitching staff substantially. Same old crap about "well we tried but we are only able to get player x."

Funny, but I bet the Phils won't have any excuses about the inevitable 8-10 percent ticket price increase next season.

Kuroda would be an intriguing add for the Phils. He's no Dice-K, but I don't see him as being another Kei Igawa, either.

Still...after 2 years, I don't know how much of Gillick's words can be taken at face value. I wonder how much of his statements are meant to just lowball our expectations.

MG: You left out the most important part of Gillick's statement. Not only did he say that it would be a good off-season if they added one starter & one reliever; he then went on to say that resigning Romero would count as "adding" that one reliever. In other words, if they come back in 2008 with the exact same horrible bullpen as they had in 2007, it will have been a successful off-season.

That *one* starter comment is a concern, especially if he is talking about adding only one to the rotation.

As much as we will hate it, Eaton is probably a lock for the rotation, giving us

1: Hamels
2: Kendrick
3: FA
4: Moyer
5: Eaton

This rotation, quite frankly, sucks. IMO, Eaton's automatic spot is one reason why Myers is unlikely to return to the rotation. If they sign a FA AND move Myers, it would turn a below average group into a plus, BUT, that would leave no room for the $8M man.

Congrats to Jimmy who has always been a fine defender. Rowand is a decent defender, but not Gold Glove worthy in my opinion, but my opinion doesn't really matter when issuing the award now does it.

I'm all for delving into the Asian market as long as we do so intelligently. This guy Kuroda sounds like he'd do an alright job in MLB, and especially for a pitching-strapped team like the Phils.

Can Tejada play 3rd? Scouts seem to "think" he can, but we don't really know. If the price is right, I'm willing to take that risk because he's still good offensively and his defense couldn't be much worse than the current option of Dobbs/Helms. He's very expensive though, and I don't want a ton of our offseason spending being given to a 3rd baseman when we all know pitching is what we need most.

Wouldn't Crede be a trade worth looking into? He makes 5 mill, which leaves a lot of money for acquiring pitching help. Plus, whoever you trade, that will add salary back in.In 2006 he averages 25 hrfor every 162 games played.. Of course, this deal would come down to Phils Drs. evaluating Crede's back.. Maybe they'll get this one right..

sorry.. i meant.. "For his career he avg 25 hr per 162

Rob: The Phils' doctors have no need to evaluate Crede's back - they'll trust the highly competent White Sox medical staff's evaluation.

This is looking like a disaster. Not only will our SP suck, but our offense will not NEARLY be as good.

Let us not forget that this time LAST year we were looking for a bat to protect Howard. We can't expect another career year out of Rollins and Utley.

And oh yea, we lose Aaron Rowand. The offense needs help. NEEDS help.

Wake me in 2009.

for all the times I flip out when he swings at the first pitch, I always stop and think how fortunate we are to have such a fine defensive shortstop. Congrats, Jimmy, you finally get recognized. He flat out makes every play he is supposed to.

I'm all for Tejada...why not?! This ownership has to realize that the time is NOW. Uts, JRoll, Howard are not puppies. They are older younsgters. Having Tejada's bat would make this arguably the best offensive infield in recent times and it makes the outfield contributors less important. Vic, Burrell and Werth would support that O just fine.

Pitching is a different story, but I feel this will improve. Madson will be back to help the bullpen and the SPs should do fine 1 through 4. If Eaton can miraculously figure out his old self, playoffs seem very attainable.


That'd be a better staff than last year, right? I figure Cabrera is as big of a risk as Eaton... but in this case, I'd rather dance with the devil I don't know.

That's not a bad rotation, but what do you think they will do with Eaton?

He seems untradable unless the Phils pay almost all of his salary, and I don't see us having an $8M long reliever.

He is going to be in the rotation, and we can only hope he gets hurt (sorry, I know that sounds awful).

kdon: I'm thinking he gets kidnapped.

You're right though... we're likely only getting one starter. That means inserting Kuroda as a 2nd or 3rd starter or insterting someone like Lieber or Lohse or Cabrera as a 4th or 5th starter. Let's pray Adam Eaton is better next year.

CJ: Cabrera is a lot younger than Eaton and has far more upside.

By the way, I'm glad Jimmy won his Gold Glove, but I would have liked to see Vic win one too. Gold Glove is nothing more than a popularity contest, so I'm not too surprised. But, if anything, Victorino deserved the award more than Rowand.

It's hard to imagine who else the Phillies would possibly target on the Orioles if not Tejada. I could definitely see them making an offer for him. However - even though I usually am very wary of those who make speculative assertions of steroid use - Tejada appears to me as a total steroid red flag, and the O's probably know it. His power numbers have dropped dramatically over the past couple of seasons (only *38* extra-base hits in '07) even as he maintained regular playing time and a decent average. He was implicated by Palmeiro and the Orioles have probably been one of the most conspicuous clubhouses revealed by leaks/investigations to this point.

I cannot believe that Gillick intends to go to the post with Helms and Dobbs again. I just can't. Helms was atrocious last season, and Dobbs is an out if you throw him anything that bends. I understand there aren't many options out there, but I simply do not believe Gillick when he says he's not going to address that position in some way.

Incidentally, that picture of Kuroda is kind of tease, being that he's already in red pinstripes. Maybe the uniform similarities will work in the Phillies' favor. (You grasp at your straws, I'll grasp at mine.)

2005 BAL 162 654 89 199 50 5 26 98 40 83 5 1 .304 .349 .515 .865
2006 BAL 162 648 99 214 37 0 24 100 46 79 6 2 .330 .379 .498 .878
2007 BAL 133 514 72 152 19 1 18 81 41 55 2 1 .296 .357 .442 .799
If we get the 07 version let's keep dobbs/Helms

I am sorry to announce that a fellow poster "THe Dude" aka Franky Luciano has passed on to a better place in the world this week. He my neighbor and was very sick for quite a long time. He was a 20 year old kid who spent countless hours of every day on this website and talking at work with co-workers about how others misunderstood his posts. He will truly be missed by all those who he graced with his presence including those on this site that did not like his opinions. His family says that in his last hours he opined about the state of the '08 Phils and how they can improve during the off-season.

THe Dude - you will be missed!

Reed: Please give names of "the SPs should do fine 1 through 4"

CJ and the other Cabrera fans: Cabrera has no command at all. None. Please tell me how this makes him different than Durbin or Eaton. Thanks.

Kuroda is the best and most doable name I've heard so far for the rotation. If you can get a copy of today's Daily News, check out the photo on the back page, which shows him releasing a shuuto (screwball).

Hank -

Thank you for sharing this tragic news. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this terrible time.

Tejada was banged up. I'd love to have him.

However, the word is Erik Bedard may be available. With Bedard and Hamels heading the rotation... I'm drooling just thinking about it. If he is available, a combination of taking salary, some major league talent/excellent prospects. Tejada, Bedard and an an overpriced veteran in exchange for Outman, Carrasco, Victorino/Bourne and a position player/prospect. I'd do it in a second!

Bourn, Geary and Constanzo for Lidge and Bruntlet?

THe Dude was a feisty but dedicated poster. I would have cut him some slack if I knew he was only 20.

Thanks for the note Hank, and convey my sympathies to the family.

Let the Brad Lidge era begin

"The Philadelphia Phillies acquired reliever Brad Lidge from the Houston Astros in a five-player trade, a source told

The Phillies sent outfielder Michael Bourn, pitcher Geoff Geary and minor leaguer Mike Costanzo to Houston, and received infielder Eric Bruntlett in addition to Lidge."

Geary and Costanzo are no loss. Losing Bourn bothers me but it's a fair return. Bruntlett is a huge upgrade over Nunez and Lidge is very solid as a setup guy, not so much as a closer. My guess is that this plus re-signing Romero will take care of the pen and make SP the top prioity.

Two things...does acquiring Lidge mean Brett back to rotation? does trading Bourn mean Rowand is coming back or everyday OF of PtB, Vic and Werth?

Wow, well that was an odd trade. Geary and Bruntlett are basically replacement types, so really, the deal was our two best position prospects for Brad Lidge.

The only way this works is if it means a return to the rotation for Myers.

And it's amazing, Gillick managed to find a futility infielder with *less* power than Nunez

My first reaction was that this was bad, but it mostly depends on what you think of Costanzo and Bourn. I'm kind of eh on both.

I have to imagine that Rowand will resign, or we have another trade for a slugger up our sleeve.

I don't think Costanzo was our best position prospect by any stretch of the imagination.

not sure how I feel about this. I would've liked to see Bourn develop, and I have little to no confidence in Lidge.

ae, who would you consider out best position prospect?

Kinda ironic that Ed Wade's first deal comes through the Phillies.

Bruntlett OPS past two seasons: .695, .629
Nunez OPS past two seasons: .577, .600

Who's the closer if Myers moves back to the rotation? If you say Lidge, you haven't been watching baseball the past two years.

kdon: Cardenas. I don't think there's any comparison, especially after Costanzo's AFL implosion.

Lidge is clearly an upgrade over Geary, which, assuming that Rowand will come back, is how the deal should be looked at. Because if that's the case, Bourn wasn't going to touch the field, and Costanzo is apparently proving lately that patience is something he lacks. I like it.

It's a shame to hear about THe Dude. My prayers are with his family.

Have to think that Lidge is a clear sign that Myers is our closer. Gillick's quote lead you to believe it, and this deal solidifies it. (Gillick was quoted as saying "Our staff feels [the bullpen] is the place for him, and I don't like flip-flopping guys. I'm not saying it's etched in stone, but that's where we want him, in the back end. He likes to be in there four or five days a week.")

Myers in the 9th, Lidge/Gordon in the 8th, Madson/Gordon in the 7th? Is this building the pitching staff backwards from the 9th like Charlie was talking about last off season? No F. Cordero or Linebrink mean more money to spend on SP and some offensive pop?

My condolences to THe Dude's family...from one dude to another...God's speed.

I have seen Mike Costanzo play in Clearwater and Reading and I think he is at best a marginal big league prospect. Overall I think this was a good trade and could be a precursor to bringing Rowand back and obviously moving Myers back into the rotation. Also, Eaton has had an MRi that the Phils are waiting on so I have a feeling that he wont play this year (just a gut instinct.

Have to think that Lidge is a clear sign that Myers is our closer.

huh? I mean, I'm not ruling it out, but there's no way this is a "clear" sign.

Jerry Crasnick on reported that the phillies are gonna move myers back into the rotation. Is this reliable?

I really hope this means Phillies re-sign Rowand, I guess most people feel the same way. I never was on the Bourn bandwagon, but I still liked him. However, it was necessary for him to leave to get a stable reliever. I can't say I'm not happy with this trade.

I'm thinking anything commentators are saying is strictly guesswork. until I see a Gillick/Amaro statement, Jeremy Crasnick's or Ken Rosenthal's or whoever's guess is no better than ours IMO.

Phillies have Brad Lidge. Yesss!!!!!!

My first guess is that Crasnick pulled that out of his ass.

phil fan in dc: I agree with your analysis.

"Two things...does acquiring Lidge mean Brett back to rotation? does trading Bourn mean Rowand is coming back or everyday OF of PtB, Vic and Werth?"

No, it means that the 8th inning guy (which I said had to be priority #1 in the offseason was just taken care of). A great move, with the durth of quality free-agent relievers. Losing Bourn hurts, but he is going to his hometown team and could start in CF for them. Plus, having a similar player in Vic, made him tradeable.

Lidge slides into the comfortable role as the 8th inning guy (with the ability to close when Myers needs a break). He is still young and has dominating stuff. He needed to get out of Houston, and a new start should be helpful.

Bruntlett takes over as the utility player.

Now, I would look for Gordon and/or Madson to be moved as well. I still think Joe Crede ends up as the Phils starting 3B next year. It could take a Madson to pry him from Chicago.

Vic will be the CF. Werth and Dobbs could be the platoon in RF. A 5th OF needs to be added, to help Burrell in late inning situations (pinch-running/defense; and preferably a left-handed hitter).

I would prefer to bring back Lieber and plug him into the rotation with Hamels, Kendrick, Moyer, and ABE (anyone but Eaton). If they can bring back Romero that gives them Myers, Lidge, Gordon, Madson, and Romero out of BP. I would follow the Kevin Towers/Padres model and add as many BP arms as possible. You can never have too many.

I just got a lot happier seeing the Phillies are planning to move Myers to the rotation. It probably is just a guess, but there is a chance it might have some truth to it.

The only thing I like about this trade is that it moves Myers back to the rotation... or at least that's what is reporting. "Philadelphia intends to move Brett Myers, who had been their closer, back into the starting rotation."

That said, I don't like it for two reasons. One is that I irrationally love Bourn, mainly for his insane speed, and also bc of how he take a lot of pitches. I do understand with our small ballpark it isn't as useful, but MAN he could make our pitching look a lot better with the way he covers ground in center.
Secondly... I have no confidence at all in Lidge. He's shown himself to be a headcase, and I don't know how someone like that is gonna be able to handle Philly.
My opinion could change the more I think about it and depending on what else we do. It is good to see us add a very talented arm to the back end of the bullpen.

i like the trade. lidge can still pitch and wasn't bad at all last year once he lost the closer's role. the bullpen needed to add depth. as for costanzo, he was not going to be anything in the bigs. wade makes the same mistake again. as for bourne, this puts to rest any dillusions that he was going to fetch a top flight starter. on the whole the kid was often over matched at the plate. he had a very narrow skill set. he could run and run. he occassionally walked but whenever a pitcher went after him (save for that day in pittsburgh) he was an out.

I would have assumed that Myers was still the closer, but on the other hand, the AP article on says "Philadelphia intends to move Brett Myers, who had been their closer, back into the starting rotation."

Hank the Tank, my most sincere condolences to the Dude's family and to all those affected by his passing. I wish I could come up with something eloguent to say, but alas, I am at a loss.

THe Dude was responsible for my first ribbing in the blog site. He ushered me in with a quick jab to the ribs. From that point on, I enjoyed the banter we had back and forth and the mutual admiration of the Braves girls, among other interests, female.

Dude we all wish you the best. You will be missed.

I don't know how Brad Lidge is going to work in CBP. He has given up tons of homers the last couple of years . Not a good sign but he is moving from one small park to another. This deal doesn't move me either way. Considering the talent available in Free Agency, I think Gillick realized this was about the only real 2-for-1 fix that made sense as if Myers move back into the rotation, we get way stronger as a whole.

True clout, I was just blown away by Bruntlett's amazingly low SLG from last year (.283).

He is an improvement over Nunez.

Lidge could be the bomb, this is the best news I have heard in a while. I hear clout approaching the computer to hack away at all the reasons that this was a bad move. I would love to see some.

ae: you're right, I could have chosen a different word than clear, but I chose it for the following reasons: first, Gillick's comments about that being where "we" (the staff) want him; second, that it is Myers desire to be in 4-5 games a week (per Gillick); third, that free agents are now going to see that we have Myers, Gordon and Lidge prospectively in the bullpen; and fourth, that save for Rivera and F. Cordero, there is no one on the FA list who could be the kind of closer that Myers is currently or could develop in to.

Personally, I'd like to see us go out and sign Linebrink (yes, I know that he's a type A free agent), but that would give us Myers in the 9th, Linebrink in the 8th, Gordon and Lidge in the 7th. Madson could be used in the 7th and early 8th.

Wow Nutter, win big in the polls one day, and back to talking baseball the next! I like it.

I also agree - Bourn wasn't bad as a 5th or 6th outfielder, but he consistently looked overmatched at the plate. Maybe with more exposure he'd become a more comfortable hitter, but I never felt very excited about him. Lidge isn't the pitcher he once was, but for the 8th inning I think he'll do quite well.

Our bullpen just went from dregs to riches with one move. Get some starting pitching and trade for Rocco Baldelli and I'm happy.

"the AP article on says "Philadelphia intends to move Brett Myers, who had been their closer, back into the starting rotation."

Good evening Mr. Clout, and how would you like your crow prepared?

id like to read what Houston fans say about this, does anyone know of any 'Stros blogs? Doubt they are as involved as we Phightins fans r, so prolly not a lot of talk right now

Our bullpen just went from dregs to riches with one move.

not to be all pessimistic, but no.

ae, Cardenas is a better prospect in the strict sense of the word, but I was thinking more along the lines of players close to the bigs.

To me, Costanzo was the closest of the top position prospects (as sad as that is).

And trying to think about the fact that either Ed Wade or Pat Gillick got the better end of a deal is making my head hurt.

"Philadelphia intends to move Brett Myers, who had been the Phillies' closer, back into the starting rotation. Amaro called him his No. 2 starter behind Cole Hamels or possibly even a 1A.

"He was pretty excited about being on the mound when we clinched the division in the last game of the season and certainly did a fine job in that role," Amaro said. "He probably could thrive in that role certainly, but we felt like our best opportunity to improve our rotation was to get him back in there." "

So, are we allowed to talk about moving Myers back into the rotation now?

This is *by far* the best part of the deal.

Last time the Phillies traded for a Houston closer, it didn't work out so bad...

Logically, this ought to mean that Myers is back in the rotation. The Phillies need starting pitching and really have no means of acquiring it, especially after using their primary trading chip in order to get Lidge, who is a capable enough closer. Despite ESPN's assumption, however, I understand it doesn't necessarily mean this. We'll have to wait to hear the intentions for Lidge and Myers. One thing I do have to assume, however, is that it means they might go harder after Rowand than anticipated. There isn't much to be found on the free-agent market for pitchers, and the Phils do have some money to spend.

Bruntlett is an upgrade over Nunez. The fact that he can steal bases gives the Phillies more late-inning dimension.

Frankly, I'm shocked that Gillick made such a bold trade so early on in the off-season. I don't think anyone was expecting this, though given Wade's hiring in Houston, it very well could have been predicted.

for all of you who faithfully attended R-Phils games this past season...does this mean Costanzo's parents are going to fly to Corpus Christi/Round Rock to watch him play every home game?

he may strike out a lot but at least he's got a hot mom...

Okay, well, there's the intentions. I totally agree, kdon. The Phillies are doing the right thing here. Everyone who thought that the Phillies' intentions to leave Myers as the closer were etched in stone must be feeling pretty foolish about now.

RSB, look at the quote above you; it is Ruben Amaro Jr. directly stating that Myers is moving back to the rotation.

Wow. Nice going PG. Shame Costanzo couldn't become a player for his hometown team, but that was a longshot anyway. Victorino remains with the team, at this point, which i'm thrilled with.


Two options here:

- Lidge is closer, popping Myers back in the rotation. Of course, that means Gordon is our reliant 8th inning guy? Does that work? Not sure.

- Lidge is the setup guy, Myers remains in the 'pen and the Phils pick up a starter to shore up the rotation. Might like this better, but I don't know if they're done. We may see a starter.

I do like hearing that Myers goes back to the rotation. funny how "Obviously, we were looking for pitching," Phils assistant GM Ruben Amaro said. "This is the best way to improve ourselves in two ways." is exactly what a couple posters on here have been saying for a while. not to name any names.

I'm hoping that Lidge isn't the last bullpen addition, but given the variety of arms available once you look a notch or two down from ace I think there's still a lot of upgrades out there.

I think this is better than doing nothing at all. Bourn is redundant on the team, and his speed not as valuable in CBP. We'll see how it plays out.

I have to wonder, however, if this means the Phils won't sign a starter, considering we have this right now:

1: Hamels
2: Myers
3: Kendrick
4: Moyer
5: Eaton

It is hard to see how any of those 5 don't start the season in the rotation unless Moyer retires or Eaton is unloaded with a dump truck full of cash.

I mentioned this last post, but I don't see any way that Gillick will put Eaton in the pen *or* find a taker, which means our rotation is set.

This is actually not so bad, as the FA market is a disaster for starters. I really have to give Gillick credit for not wanting to overpay for 4-5 years of mediocre Silva/Loshe.

Get ready for seeing this in the "Transactions" list in the paper:

"The Houston Astros recall pitcher Geoff Geary from AAA Round Rock"

Short blurb after Bruntlett received his '07 one-year deal with Houston:

Played all three OF positions; all IF positions but 1B. A team-high .412 average as a pinch-hitter.

Can't imagine him hitting more than .260 and 4-5 home runs in limited time. Should show more pop than Baberaham.

Awesome to see that Ed Wade finally made a good deal for the Phils! I'm loving this one.

Great move by the Phills. I knew Ed wade would of some value eventually. Great job by Gillick to bate him w/Costanzo, whom wade drafted second-round pick. The biggest upside-Myers back in the rotation.

Keith Law on rips Wade.
"It's interesting that Wade thought this was the best he could get for Lidge, or he felt using Lidge (perhaps their most tradeable commodity, with one year left until free agency) to fill their center-field role was a good strategy. The closers on the free agent market are all worse than Lidge; only Francisco Cordero is close, and he'll probably get a four-year deal. There had to be other teams interested in Lidge, and by acting quickly and dealing with his former club to acquire three players drafted while he was the Phillies' GM, it looks like Wade completely misread the market for relievers. At the same time he put filling a specific hole ahead of maximizing his return on one of his best assets. It's an inauspicious beginning to his tenure in Houston"

Having read Gillick's comments, I was wrong about an hour ago about Myers. I'm disappointed in that- I felt with Myers we had a lights out bullpen and felt the same way that I do when I'm watching the Nats bring in Chad Cordero. Now I feel like we have to sign at least two relief pitchers, one of the Linerbink ilk, as I don't feel as comfortable with Lidge in the 9th, Gordon in the 8th and Madson in the 7th.

Knowing that this means that we've got Hamels, Myers, Moyer, Kendrick and Eaton penciled into the rotation, we should have the money to sign two relievers and Rowand. If the ownership would like to reinvest the income they made off the number of sell outs, our postseason appearance and merchandise sales, they could then spend it on another starter who could also be a long reliever, as I'm not sure that we have the kind of pitcher in the minors who could step up and fill in if we had another situation like Garcia and Lieber this year.

So this is how our standing with our fearless leader, Mr. Weitzel, and goal of Myers as Closer, ends. It doesn't leave me feeling as good as I did an hour ago.

If Myers is rotation-bound again, I hope we're not done.

Still think we need:
- One more reliever (not sold completely on Lidge as a closer again).
- A LOOGY (let's go with Romero).
- A No. 4 or 5 starter (in case Eaton is Eaton again; contingency, etc.).
- Offense. Can't go into 2008 with Burrell/Victorino/Werth/Roberson. Absolutely can't.

I originally wanted Myers to go back to the rotation, as he represented the most fool-proof plan for the rotation (Schill was a question mark; the market stinks). But that was if we went hard after Cordero.

Lidge is probably No. 2 on the closer market because of his history, but I'm just not completely sold on Myers in the rotation. Not yet. I need more confidence.

With Lidge a free agent after 2008, trading such a young player for him shows that management plans to make a run for it finally.

Myers is a better starting pitcher than anything available on the free agent market.

Still need to resign Rowand and Romero. I would like to add another pitcher who can start or relieve. Finally, I really want a third baseman although Gillick says he will go with Helms and Dobbs. I think Dobbs was a one year wonder, while Helms was a zero year wonder.

Fantastic move by Gillick.

From the beginning I always thought moving Myers to the pen was a mistake - a big-time panic move. I've been hoping that the front office would come to their senses and realize that a top tier starting pitcher is worth much more than a closer. Better late than never, but good job Gillick!

Lidge has the skills to succeed as closer and I think the fans will love watching him K opposing hitters with his high nineties heater.

Now we need to address the remaining needs:

1) We must sign either sign a starting OF or a starting 3B. The offense needs to at least remain at the level it was at last year. A FA signing at OF/3B is a necessity.

2) We must sign at least one more solid setup reliever. Linebrink would be my choice here, but

3) We need a lefty in the pen. Romero could work, but I'd prefer the more stable Mahay.

If we can take care of these three things, I'll like our chances to repeat as NL East champs next season.

I think this was a very good move. I like the addition of Lidge. The key is for the Phillies to add quality arms to their staff. Lidge is that. He might not be the pitcher he was 2 years ago but he is still solid. I think Lidge as the closer, Myers in the rotation is not etched in stone. We will have to wait and see what other pitchers they bring in. The next move has to be resigning J.C. Romero. That needs to happen in the next day or two. If he hits the open market he is gone. After that they need to determine what is going to happen with the outfield. Do they sign Rowand or Hunter? Do they trade for Rocco Baldelli or Geoff Jenkins? It will be an exciting off-season.

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