Ruben Amaro Jr. said after the season that he doesn't feel comfortable handing Darin Ruf an everyday job in a corner outfield spot next year, and based on the rest of the roster right field is the position where you'll see an upgrade. Who might fill that spot?
You know the top free-agent names. Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo are not ideal fits because they hit left-handed and are in line for $90-100 million contracts. The next tier includes Nelson Cruz -- who has a lengthy injury history and was busted for PEDs last season -- and Carlos Beltran, who's 36.
Curtis Granderson is out there, but he also hits left-handed and is coming off an injury-plagued season. He might make sense if the Phils can become less left-handed via a trade.
Then there's Mike Morse, who the Phillies have liked for years but isn't a huge upgrade over Ruf.
If the Phils want to get creative and fill the outfield hole with a trade, there are several big bats who could be made available this winter.
Giancarlo Stanton obviously tops the list, as the Phils continue to pursue him in case he ever hits the trading block. But a Stanton trade would likely require parting with Domonic Brown and one or both of Maikel Franco and Jesse Biddle. May sound like a ton, but that's what it would take to snag Stanton from a divsion rival and also top the offers from about 20 other teams.
Mark Trumbo is another potential trade target. The Angels have close to $400 million committed to Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, will need to extend Mike Trout soon and have a lot of holes to fill on the pitching staff. They can't keep everyone, and Trumbo will likely be the odd man out.
Trumbo's on-base percentages the last few years have been U-G-L-Y, but he's 27, just entering his first arbitration year, and has 40-homer potential at Citizens Bank Park. He can play first base and the corner outfield, and has even faked it at third base.
Yoenis Cespedes and Jose Bautista are two more intriguing options. Neither has been made available publicly, but there have been whispers that Cespedes could be shopped because he hasn't been crucial to the A's success and he's about to get even more expensive than he already is. He's due $21 million the next two years, which might as well be $42 million to a team like Oakland.
Cespedes is the kind of toolsy, yet-to-fill-his-potential player the Phillies covet. His outfield defense in all three spots is a major plus, and he's entering his prime at 28.
Bautista ... he may be a longshot. He's on a team-friendly deal in Toronto, but GM Alex Anthopoulos has to realize that subtracting bats for arms is a must. The Blue Jays' rotation was one of the worst in baseball last season, and the offense would still have enough juice with Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Reyes, Brett Lawrie and Adam Lind. Plus, Bautista has had premature ends to his last two seasons because of wrist and hip troubles.
What say you, Beerleaguer? Should the Phils go with a pricey free agent, a second-tier fill-in on a short-term deal, or make a deal for their next rightfielder?