Candidates for the outfield have been dropping off the Phillies radar like flies the past week.
B.J. Upton signed with the Braves, Angel Pagan went back to the Giants and Shane Victorino landed in Boston. And with the price tags for Josh Hamilton (likely going back to Texas) and Michael Bourn being too high, the market for a starting centerfielder and corner outfield has thinned.
But manager Charlie Manuel talked about some ideal options to fill a corner outfield position as well as center field.
A handful of names, in a series of tweets by David Murphy of the Daily News, included Ichiro Suzuki, Ryan Ludwick and Cody Ross.
“We’ve talked about Ichiro. I think Ichiro can help our team,” Manuel said, leaving people to interprete that any way they want to.
Manuel also said the Phillies need to add a veteran corner outfielder, naming Ross and Ludwick as a couple options.
All of those options cover the corners, but what about center field?
Bourn is still asking for more money than what Upton received from Atlanta, which was $75.5 million over five years. Ryan Lawrence helped poor cold water on that idea:
Charlie says No.1 priority is CF, wants a guy who can catch, cover a lot of ground. First name he mentioned, as example of that guy: Bourn.
Boras says Bourn is THE elite CF on the market this winter, clearly the best. Translation: still expects a bigger payday than B.J. Upton.
In a report by Jayson Stark of ESPN, the Phillies may have resigned themselves to the fact they would have to acquire a centerfielder via trade. A couple of names come to mind, including the nearly unattainable Jacoby Ellsbury from Boston as well as Dexter Fowler from Colorado, a more reasonable fit.
The Phillies have put pitchers Major League-ready arms Vance Worley and Tyler Cloyd, as well as top prospect Trevor May on the trading block.