By George Remaily,
The Philadelphia Phillies and general manager Reuben Amaro Jr have put themselves up with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox of major league baseball. Some have called the Phillies the Yankees of the National League. Since taking over for the retired Pat Gillick as the GM of the Phillies after the 2008 World Series Championship, Amaro Jr has really continued to make the Phillies a top team in baseball.
The Phillies came into the 2011 season as the favorite to not only win the National League but also to win the World Series. This was after a disappointing finish in 2010 when the Phillies lost to the San Francisco Giants in the playoffs and the Giants went on to win the World Championship.
The Phillies during the off-season of last season brought back pitching sensation Cliff Lee and signed him to a nice contract to add him to the pitching rotation along with Halliday and Hamels. Going into the 2011 season the Philadelphia Phillies were being called the Dream Team of Major League Baseball.
The Phillies steamrolled through the 2011 season. At the trade deadline Amaro made a deal that brought over right-fielder Hunter Pence from the Astros and gave the Phillies the right-handed bat that most baseball experts felt that the team needed to win the World Series. The Phillies again lost in the NL playoffs this time to the St. Louis Cardinals who went on to win the World Series.
As the off-season got underway there were numerous rumors of what player or players that the Philadelphia Phillies would go after. The Phillies current shortstop Jimmy Rollins is a free agent and the New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes became a free agent. Reyes would have been a perfect fit for the Phillies. The true leadoff hitter that the team has been lacking. He would have been a great fit but the Phillies appear to be going another direction and since Reyes has now signed with the Marlins. It looks like the Phillies are going to bring back Jimmy Rollins. The question is will Amaro Jr sign Rollins to the five-year deal that Rollins is looking for.
The Phillies will really need to try to move center fielder Shane Victorino, there have been rumors that the Phillies were going to move him in a major deal but the trigger has not been pulled on it yet. The Phillies should move Victorino now because his value is at the highest it will ever be.
Amaro Jr. and the Phillies have to understand they can not just stay with the same starting eight. They do need to add something to this team. Some fresh blood, enthusiasm, and energy. This current team is getting older and they will be without there slugger first baseman Ryan Howard at least until sometime in May.
The Phillies did sign former Boston Red Sox closer Jon Papelbon to the highest contract ever given to a closer, so the New York Yankees of the National League continue their money spending. Reuben needs to do his magic again. The Phillies made a mistake not going after Jose Reyes. He would have been a perfect fit to this team but they let him go and sign with their divisional foe the Miami Marlins. A mistake, time will only tell. Should they resign Jimmy Rollins? That is what seems to be going back and forth with the Phillies organization. It looks like that they will be resigning him. They do need to make a move to change this lineup. Amaro Jr is not one of the top GM’s for nothing. He probably and most likely has a trick up his sleeve. Phillies fans certainly hope so. The question is what is the trick and what will be the treat.