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Phillies look to get cracking at Winter Meetings

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies expect to be busy this week at the Winter Meetings in Nashville.

They also should be hard to find in the sprawling Opryland Resort and Convention Center. That is fine by them. The Phillies like to keep tight-lipped on any happenings involving the future shape of their 40-man roster.

They certainly have some work to do.

The Phillies will be looking for a center fielder, a setup man and possibly a third baseman or corner outfielder at the meetings, which run from Monday through Thursday. They lost the B.J. Upton sweepstakes last week, when he agreed to a five-year, $75 million contract with the Atlanta Braves. reported the Phillies offered Upton a five-year, $55 million deal.

They also had agreed to send two Minor League prospects to the Houston Astros for right-hander Wilton Lopez, but the deal vaporized following Lopez's physical in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

The Phillies thought they had a chance at acquiring two significant pieces last week.

They got zero.

In between the top-secret meetings and phone calls with agents and general managers from other teams, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel will meet with reporters on Wednesday afternoon. He certainly hopes to be able to talk about some of the Phillies' latest acquisitions and how they will fit on his 2013 roster.

If not, then what will he have to talk about? will keep fans abreast of the latest rumors (there are a million of them out there, some of them even come true) and other story lines from the meetings, which conclude with Thursday's Rule 5 Draft.

In recent seasons, the Phillies acquired Shane Victorino, David Herndon and Michael Martinez in the Rule 5 Draft. If the Phillies don't make any major moves this week, a potential Rule 5 Draft selection (there is no guarantee they will take one) could be their only addition to the roster.

Phillies fans everywhere hope there is more than that, but in years past the Phillies have used the Winter Meetings to set up acquisitions like Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. Maybe this will be similar in nature: quiet before a lot of noise the following week or two.

Philadelphia Phillies