Inbox: Will Phils look to trade for an outfielder?
Beat writer Todd Zolecki answers Phillies' fans questions
-- Shawn S., Honey Brook, Pa.
There are reports the Angels have no plans to trade Trumbo, which isn't terribly surprising. But even if the Halos make him available, I'm not sure the Phillies have enough talent to land him. Trumbo is just 26 and entering his third big league season. He is relatively inexpensive and under team control through 2017. If I'm the Angels, I don't think about trading Trumbo unless I'm completely blown away by an offer. It might cost Philadelphia a talent like Jesse Biddle or Tommy Joseph (and certainly more) to make a trade like that. I don't think the Phils would do it.
The Angels have a glut of outfielders. I'm assuming they will be shopping Vernon Wells pretty hard. If the Angels eat a big chunk of that salary, Wells could give the Phillies an upgrade in right field, or at the very least be a solid platoon player. Thoughts?
-- Peter B., Philadelphia
If the Phillies do not sign Cody Ross, I think a player like Wells or Alfonso Soriano would make sense, if they decide to make a trade to find their corner outfielder. Players like Wells and Soriano would cost less talent, but it would only work if the Angels or Cubs would pay a significant portion of the salary. Wells is owed a staggering $42 million over the next two seasons, while Soriano is owed $36 million. I don't touch either of those players unless I'm getting them at a significant discount.
Soriano is the more attractive player to me. Wells has a .667 OPS over the previous two seasons, while Soriano has a .793 OPS. Wells has a more respectable .794 OPS against left-handed pitchers the previous two seasons, while Soriano has an .822 OPS against left-handers. Soriano could be more of an everyday player, while Wells seems more like a platoon player.
Do you like the John Lannan signing?
-- Eric C., Boothwyn, Pa.
He seems like a solid fifth starter, and a one-year, $2.5 million contract is a good price. Lannan is 42-52 with a 4.01 ERA in 134 starts in his career. Interestingly, he is 3-13 with a 5.53 ERA in his career against the Phillies, but 39-39 with a 3.80 ERA against everybody else. If Lannan gives the Phils 30 to 33 starts with a 3.80 ERA, they will be thrilled.
Do you think Mike Adams is worth $6 million per season? Relievers seems to be so up and down.
-- Brian M., Los Angeles
Relievers are risky, and the Phillies haven't had a ton of luck with free-agent relievers lately, but if Adams is healthy, he should be a big contributor. Phils relief pitchers had a 4.91 ERA in the eighth inning in 2012, which was the third-worst mark in baseball. They also blew 13 leads in the eighth inning, which was tied with Milwaukee for the most in baseball. That is a significant number, considering the Phillies finished seven games behind the Cardinals for the second National League Wild Card.
Where does this team stand entering Spring Training, assuming they find somebody else to help in the outfield?
-- Jeremy R., Philadelphia
The Phillies are better. They have a reliable setup man. They have somebody who can catch the ball in center field, a guy who almost hit .300 last season. Michael Young is an upgrade over what the Phils had at third base last season, and Lannan seems like a solid fifth starter. Are they better than the Nationals and Braves? I can't say that, because we haven't seen Roy Halladay, Chase Utley or Ryan Howard yet.
The Phillies need those guys to perform to their capabilities. If they do, these additions are nice complementary pieces. But I still think the Phils need to find another outfielder. They know it. If they do, I will like their offseason moves a little more.