Phillies need to **** or get off the pot with their rebuild

jtown
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 21: The Phillie Phanatic shields himself behind a police officer after players from the Milwaukee Brewers threw cups of water at him before a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on July 21, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 21: The Phillie Phanatic shields himself behind a police officer after players from the Milwaukee Brewers threw cups of water at him before a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on July 21, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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The Phillies have tried to span the gap between a rebuilding and respectable team, but they need to go all in with either rebuilding or trying to win.

This year we hoped that the Phillies could take it up a notch and push their record closer to .500 after a 71-91 season in 2016. Instead, they have taken a step back with a 33-62 record as of Sunday, the worst in MLB this season.

The team acquired several veterans during the offseason that they hoped would make the team better if for nothing else than to make the team better this year. As Paul Lebowitz of FanRag Sports writes, that hasn’t exactly panned out:

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"They’ve “achieved” that terrible record with a payroll of around $100 million. While importing some recognizable names was an understandable gesture to the Phillies fans who had flocked to the ballpark when the club was dominating the National League East, won two pennants and a World Series, they might have been better served to accept reality and not even bother.Unlike many teams embarking on a full-scale rebuild, the Phillies chose not to take that to its logical and – in the eyes of many – wisest step, which is to lose as relentlessly as possible and get higher draft picks. No one involved with the Phillies was functioning under a delusion that they were contenders, but they did strive to be a respectable type of bad with veterans Howie Kendrick, Jeremy Hellickson, Clay Buchholz, Pat Neshek, Michael Saunders, Andres Blanco and Joaquin Benoit."

As we look on towards next season, the front office has a decision to make about where they want to take the rebuild. They could let the team continue to work out the kinks and let the young players develop. This would probably mean more losing next season, but we would see more prospects come up and get their first crack at the majors.

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If Philadelphia opted for that approach, it would set them up for a splurge in the 2018-2019 free agent market that everyone and their mother assumes the team will jump all over.

Another option would be to start preparing for contention this coming offseason by signing legitimate contributors. Two names Lebowtiz pointed to were Eric Hosmer and Jake Arrieta, among others. He said that signing players of that caliber would help develop the young players and show potential signees in 2018-2019 (Bryce Harper, Manny Machado) that Philadelphia is serious about trying to win.

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Whatever the Phils decide to do in 2018, they just can’t continue to be stuck in this middle ground between rebuilding and trying to win because it only has hurt them this year. For lack of better words, they need to **** or get off the pot.

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