Though they’ve already addressed shortcomings at third base, centerfield and in the bullpen, the Phillies still need a corner outfielder. At first declaring the club’s offseason moves over, Ruben Amaro Jr. has since changed his mind.
“We’re likely going with what we’ve got,” the Phils’ GM told reporters, including the Inquirer’s Matt Gelb, on Monday. Yet, only a day later, sources tell Ken Rosenthal the Phillies are still in pursuit of a corner man to avoid a troubling double-platoon situation.
The names haven’t changed — it’s still Scott Hairston via free agency, or Alfonso Soriano or Vernon Wells via a trade — and none offer significant upgrades over a combo of Darin Ruf, Domonic Brown, John Mayberry and Laynce Nix.
Hairston, according to Rosenthal, is seeking a two-year deal totaling around $8 million. At $4 million per season, he’d make more than the foursome of Nix (due $1.35 million in 2013) and three pre-arbitration eligible players (set to make approximately half a million apiece) combined.
At only a slight upgrade, is he worth limiting the team’s trade deadline options? It’s estimated the Phillies have $7 million to spend before eclipsing the luxury tax threshold. That’d be shrunken significantly by adding Hairston.
But the alternative option of going with the double platoon is frightening — even Amaro admitted as much Tuesday.
“I’m just as scared as everybody else,” he said Tuesday on 97.3 ESPN-FM. “Other than Ben Revere being kind of a young centerfielder, we don’t have a proven everyday guy out there.”