“Third base, bullpen, bench.”


In a move that surprised no one, Ruben Amaro announced yesterday the focal points of the Phillies offseason mission:  “Third base, bullpen, bench.”

While these are the Achilles’ Heel(s) of the Phillies, it’d be pretty tough to ignore that the starting pitching is need of an upgrade, and as I (and everyone else) said yesterday, Roy Halladay may be officially back on the menu.

Well, it’s official:  The Phils will be taking another turn at snagging Roy Halladay.

What’s the same as last time:

  • We have a couple of talented starting pitchers capable of great things, and the addition of Halladay would make them a terrifying rotation that lives under your bed and eats your stuffed animals.
  • The Blue Jays are asking to be pelted with young talent from our farm system.

What’s different:

  • We went to the well for Indians already, and cashed in our Lou Marson, Jason Donald, Carlos Carrasco, and Jason Knapp chips.  To pay for Halladay now is to dry it up even further (Although Kyle Drabek is not to be touched).
  • Halladay’s contract is now for only one season, and will be less expensive.

There was a debate last time that Amaro needs to think about the future of the organization before he cracks his knuckles and starts handing out the farm system.  That idea has apparently gone out the window, and any nay-sayers are having gags put in their mouths.

This past World Series loss may be the fuel behind winning again, now. The core is all but locked up, with Howard, Utley, Werth, Rollins, and Lee signed on (in some cases, presumably).  Victorino, Ruiz, and Blanton are all looking for raises they deserve but have not gotten yet, and this with the Phils already spending $106 million on 12 players.

I was an advocate for keeping what young players we could, and was satisfied when we didn’t have to surrender J.A. Happ or Drabek for Cliff Lee.  But that may be my fear of change.

Because honestly, I’ve seen the light.  It takes a lot of careful chess-playing and a bunch of luck to assemble a team of this caliber.  With a solid-hitting third basemen, our lineup really lacks a hole.  The weaknesses Amaro addressed are just that, and if he plans to work on them with solutions like “Acquire Roy Halladay,” I’m all for it.

You gotta win while you can.  We don’t all get our checks from The Emperor.