When I heard the news of the Bourn-Lidge trade, I liked it because I thought it probably meant two things: (1) Brett Myers will go back the role I bemoaned him leaving last season, and (2) the Phillies would push hard to re-sign Aaron Rowand. Lidge will cost less this season (and may not be on the books after it) than a mid-rotation starter, so by shifting their own pitching resources, the Phillies have freed up a few more bucks to spend on the market. Since Bourn had a good chance to become an everyday starter without Rowand, and he's now gone, it seemed logical that the brass would target Rowand and keep his bat in the lineup. But according to Ruben Amaro Jr, we shouldn't get our hopes up.
"We're still keeping an eye on Aaron, but I'm not sure he's a realistic
piece for us right now," Amaro said. "If we're not in a position to
bring back Aaron or someone of that ilk, we'll be looking for a fourth
or fifth outfielder."
The Phils have also stated that third base isn't a top priority this off-season, making it a strong possibility we'll see Wes Helms and Greg Dobbs platooning there. If Rowand or "someone of that ilk" isn't brought in, we'll be looking at a platoon in the outfield too (Dobbs/Jayson Werth), and that's not exactly building on last year's successes to make a run in '08.
If Myers is slated to start, the Phils will still need to shoot for another arm due to Adam Eaton's being the worst starter in the National League. Any starting pitcher worth a damn will require the Phillies to likely overpay a bit due to the shallow market, which is why Rowand will probably land elsewhere. We're big Rowand fans here at the Level, but he's asking for more than he's worth, and we all know the Phillies have a self-imposed salary cap and a lame-duck GM who doesn't like taking on long-term deals. I'm glad to see them addressing the big needs they have on the mound, but it's frustrating that with this franchise, making one move so often becomes justification for not making another.