Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz. Image Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Apparently, the Phillies’ fourth place finish in 2013 has made general manager Ruben Amaro a bit antsy. As reported by Todd Zolecki, the Phillies have already begun to set the free agent market by making offers to several players.
While no specific names have been mentioned, considering the team’s need for an upgrade in the outfield, as well as their constant search for a right-handed power hitter, it’s reasonable to suspect that Nelson Cruz or Carlos Beltran were two of the players they’ve made offers to.
The team might have also talked to some of the free agent options at catcher, since they’ve publicly stated their willingness to move on from Carlos Ruiz. It’s apparent to most people that by not offering Ruiz an extension during the season (as some prescient people suggested), the team is now going to either pay a lot more money to their catcher or else suffer a downgrade at the position.
This seems painfully similar to what went down with Ryan Madson after the 2011 season. Does this mean that the Phillies are preparing to offer a 4-year deal to Brian McCann that everyone will regret by the end of year two? And does this mean that Ruiz is destined to suffer a severe injury and not play an inning of baseball for the next two years? I doubt it. In fact, it would be kind of eerie if it did play out exactly the same way.
Regardless, it seems apparent that the Phillies are planning on making some major moves this offseason. It will be interesting to see how the team looks after it all shakes out.