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Phillies Offseason Report Card

After 162 games and countless dollars spent in 2011, it looked like the Phillies were on their way to, what everyone expected, a World Series trophy. 4 games, 8 innings, and 2 outs later, it turned out the Phils needed a miracle to simply make it to the NLCS. However, instead of a miracle, the worst possible thing happened; Ryan Howard went down with a torn achilles and they Phillies lost 1-0 in game 5 to the St. Louis Cardinals. Both the city and the team were stunned and they both called for change. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro emphasized that their offense needed much improvement if they wanted to go anywhere in the future.

However, fast forward again and you come to Amaro saying he didn’t mean everything he said, and he liked his team the way it was. But Spring Training is here and all that is behind us now. Today we review and grade all the moves the Phillies made in the offseason.

Sign RP Dontrelle Willis: B+

A former nemesis, the D-Train could be the lefty Charlie has been looking for (PI).

By adding the Reliever Willis the Phillies made a low-risk, high-reward type of move that they have not been known for. He could become a second lefty reliever behind Bastardo, and more of a lefty specialist. Left-handers hit .127/.169/.200 against Willis in 55 at-bats last season.

Sign OF Laynce Nix: A+

This is another low-risk, high-reward signing the Phillies made in the offseason. Nix could be the perfect person to platoon in left field with John Mayberry Jr. because, while many believe Mayberry can’t hit righty pitching, Nix struggles against left-handed pitching so we have the perfect combo of sluggers.

Trade for IF Ty Wigginton: A-

Wigginton is a great, low-budget player to add to the Phillies bench. He can play a variety of positions and has the potential of power. He is also a great backup for Polanco, who we all know could be plagued by injuries this season. However, his consistency makes this signing somewhat shakier.

Resign C Brian Schneider: B-

People may wonder why the Phillies would bring back a terrible hitter, when they are looking for offense, but they need a veteran catcher that can handle this ace pitching staff. Brian Schneider is the perfect person to do this and he can also give Ruiz rest at a low cost.

Sign 1B Jim ThomeB+

Thome is both a great signing for your bench and for your locker room. He may be the key piece needed to turn the offense around, because he can help teach situational hitting and mentor the rest of the lineup. He provides a key piece of power off the bench that was almost absent last year, but his health and age are nagging issues.

Paps is the most controversial signing, earning $15 million as he replaces the productive Madson (BG).

Sign CL Jonathan Papelbon: A

Although the money paid for Papelbon is a lot, we should not forget that Madson was seeking only a little less. However, Papelbon was the best closer on the market and he has been lights out for years. Also, he should easily be able to handle the media and fans in Philadelphia.

Resign SS Jimmy Rollins: A-

This was one of the more predicted signings the Phillies made in the offseason, and a three-year deal makes everyone happy. Rollins has been a key to the Phillies success for over a decade , and if he stays healthy he can continue to produce with his glove (3 Gold Gloves) and bat (MVP, Silver Slugger).

Signing RP Chad Qualls: B+

The Phillies were able to add the final piece to their bullpen by signing Qualls. They now have a closer, a long-innings man, a lefty/righty specialist, and a man that can be put into any of those positions at any moment. Qualls pitched well last year, posting a 3.51 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP in 77 appearances. However, there is some concern that he is coming from a pitcher-friendly ballpark to what can become a pitchers nightmare.

Signing OF Juan Pierre: A-

Pierre was a very smart signing by the Phillies this offseason; he’s a player that can add some speed to this aging club. Pierre, a lifetime .296 hitter, also has 554 stolen bases in his career. He is a cheap option that could help Philly play the type of small ball that wins games in the postseason.

Not Resigning Raul Ibanez, Roy Oswalt, Brad Lidge, and Ryan Madson: A

The Phillies let a lot of teams go this offseason and it was for the best. Although it would have been nice to get Madson back all the other players were past their prime. The Phillies made better signings in the offseason then resigning their leaving players, especially a struggling, inconsistent Ibanez.

OVERALL GRADE: A-/A

The Phillies made a ton of under the radar moves this year, ones that they are normally not keen on making. They did not sign any marquee players besides Papelbon, and those low-budget utility players could really make a difference come September and October.

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Categories: Editorial, Phillies

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