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Phils looking for complementary parts at Meetings

GM Amaro: 'We have to try to be creative to make things happen'

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Major League Baseball held its 2010 Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort, where Phillies officials carefully and purposely tried to avoid Cliff Lee's agent in the lobby so nobody would get a hint they planned to bring him back.

The Winter Meetings have returned to the same spot, but this year it seems less likely the Phillies will surprise the baseball world.

Philadelphia is looking for pitching help, but it is unlikely it will pursue some of the bigger names available like David Price and Matt Garza. First, it does not seem to have the quality of talent the Rays will want for Price. Second, it's clear the Phillies are hoping their high-priced and aged nucleus of Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz, Lee, Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon can not only stay healthy, but find the production that made them National League East champions from 2007-11.

They invested a lot of money in that group and are going to try to win with it. Now, the challenge is trying to find the right complementary pieces.

"There's a lot of things we'll continue to pursue," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said last week. "We have to try to be creative to make things happen. We've explored a couple of more aggressive things -- and we'll continue to explore those. We've been in discussions with a lot of clubs."

The Phillies could make trades to fill some of their needs. They still could use a big bat for their lineup, but that would involve trading somebody. They also need bullpen and bench help.

Don't be surprised to hear Domonic Brown's name a lot this week. He is a young player with power who is under team control. He has definite value. Hearing Papelbon's name wouldn't be a surprise, either. The Phillies have been trying to trade him since July.

Even if the Phillies are quiet, fans will get to hear from manager Ryne Sandberg. He will meet with reporters on Tuesday afternoon. The club also has the Nos. 4 and 7 selections in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft.

Check and throughout the week for the latest on any trades, signings or rumors.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for

Philadelphia Phillies