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Phils searching for fountain of youth at Meetings

PHILADELPHIA -- Maybe this is the week the Phillies take a step backward in an effort to move forward.

The Winter Meetings run from Monday through Thursday in San Diego, and general manger Ruben Amaro Jr. and the Phillies are expected to be busy. They are looking to rebuild a team that has not finished with a winning record since 2011. Philadelphia has lost 89 games each of the previous two seasons, and last season it finished last in the National League East for the first time since 2000.

The Phils need pitching and hitting help, but they mostly need to get younger. That has been the plan since the end of the season, but so far they have come up empty. The team resigned outfielder Grady Sizemore and right-hander Jerome Williams, but it has been unable to trade any veterans for the young talent it covets.

Check throughout the week for updates, because things can change quickly.

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg will hold a formal interview session with reporters on Tuesday afternoon. A year ago at the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Sandberg spoke optimistically about the team's chances to field a postseason contender. He believed the team would be formidable offensively and have enough pitching to compete.

The Phillies instead finished ninth in the NL in runs, 11th in on-base percentage, 13th in slugging percentage and 12th in ERA.

If the Phillies accomplish what they want to during this offseason and get much younger, it's hard to imagine those numbers improving much in 2015. But this offseason is about '17 and beyond, much more than next season.

Got any questions that need answering during the Winter Meetings? Let us know. We're here to ask.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for
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