There are holes the team needs to fill and one of them is at a peculiar spot. The Phillies have been longing for a power-hitting, right-handed bat since Jayson Werth signed with the Nationals in 2010. They traded for Hunter Pence but that did not work out. They are still looking for that bat.
Yet, that's not the only major priority this offseason.
The right-handed bat shares that title with the starting pitching staff. In just three short years the "Four Aces" will turn into "Two Aces and Three Other Shmoes." Who those other three are is anybody's guess.
Cuban righty Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez appears to be a lock to handle one of those spots but then it gets dicey. Kyle Kendrick and John Lannan are both arbitration-eligible but Lannan ended the season injured and Kendrick has had the second-half from hell - he also ended the season injured. So the Phillies tendering contract to either guy is not a lock, especially since Kendrick could be looking in the $8 million+ range.
Do the Phillies look to free agency or from within? There are some big names on the free agent market like Tim Lincecum and Ubaldo Jimenez that could get some Phillies fans excited (I am not one of them). Inside the organization they have guys like Tyler Cloyd (no thanks), Jonathan Pettibone, and Adam Morgan who might be able to fill the fourth and fifth spots.
No matter what direction they decide to head in, there is one thing that is abundantly clear - for the first time in years the Phillies starting pitching staff is actually a concern heading into the offseason.
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