This is always the dead period of the MLB offseason -- the 3-4 weeks between the end of December and end of January. A year ago, the Joel Hanrahan-Mark Melancon trade occurred the day after Christmas, but over the next two weeks the only signing of note was Edwin Jackson to the Cubs.
The Phillies have been inactive since signing Roberto Hernandez and sending out a bunch of spring training invites on Dec. 18. There was Jim Salisbury's report about a possible reunion with Ryan Madson. There was a rumor that the Phils kicked the tires on Mark Mulder. And nothing else.
There is little left on the free-agent market. Some quality relievers -- Jesse Crain, Scott Downs -- have signed short-term, cheap deals. They would have been worth looks, but the Phils will instead go with the young bullpen for another year.
The Phils could still use some left-handed bench help, but it appears they're willing to pluck that help from their list of non-roster invitees. If they do choose to make another move, a few names to remember are Tyler Colvin and Chris Coghlan.
Colvin and Coghlan were once highly-regarded prospects, and both have had rocky careers.
Coghlan, a perennial Phillie-killer, was Rookie of the Year in 2009 but has since hit .242 with a .659 OPS in 1,017 major-league plate appearances.
Colvin's a little more versatile -- he can play first base and all three outfield spots, and has hit at least 18 home runs in two of four big-league seasons. In 2012 he hit .290/.327/.531 with 18 homers, 27 doubles and 10 triples as a Rockie. Then last year he went 12-for-75 with 27 strikeouts. He's a low-walk, high-strikeout guy, but could be valuable off the bench and give the Phillies insurance in case an outfielder goes down and they don't want to use John Mayberry every day. Colvin made $2.275 million last year but could likely be had for less this winter.
Colvin was outrighted to the minors in September and accepted his assignment but is no longer with Colorado. His career has bottomed out but he's just 28, and a former first-round pick. He's worthy of a low-risk flier for a team that looks like it wants to do nothing but take low-risk fliers.