The Phillies haven't made a move through Day 1 and most of Day 2 of the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., despite several key developments including Cliff Lee, Justin Upton, Vance Worley and Trevor May.
Ruben Amaro Jr. is undoubtedly working hard at the Opryland Hotel to fill at least one of his holes before leaving town, but nothing has yet come to fruition. Amaro, who doesn't typically respond to rumors, vociferously denied to reporters and on MLB Network a rumor that the Phillies and Diamondbacks were discussing a Lee-Upton swap.
A separate report from CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury mentions that the team is dangling Worley and starting pitching prospect May as trade chips. Potential trade targets are centerfielder Dexter Fowler of the Rockies, leftfielder Josh Willingham of the Twins, as well secondary options like Colorado's Michael Cuddyer, Minnesota's Ben Revere and Toronto's Rajai Davis.
While Cuddyer, Revere and Davis are rather uninspiring names, leaving Tennessee with Fowler or Willingham in hand might make the Winter Meetings a success for Amaro. Willingham has just the righthanded power the Phillies need -- he hit .266/.366/.524 with 35 homers last season after the Phillies again decided not to pursue him -- and is due just $14 million total over the next two seasons.
Fowler, meanwhile, would fill the Phils' centerfield hole with more power than Michael Bourn at a significantly lower financial cost. Fowler made $2.35 million last season in his first arbitration year, and is under team control for the next three seasons. He hit .300/.389/.474 last year with 18 doubles, 11 triples, 13 homers and 12 steals, though that was done almost entirely at Coors Field. For his career, Fowler's OPS is nearly 200 points lower on the road than at Coors.
Both the Rockies and Twins are fits for the Phillies because both teams are in need of young pitching. The Phillies have a host of intriguing young arms in Worley, May, Jon Pettibone, Ethan Martin, Adam Morgan, Jesse Biddle, Brody Colvin and Tyler Cloyd.