12/06/11 1:30 AM EST
Free-agent lefty Sherrill on Phillies' radar
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
Phillies quick to add pop to the bench
DALLAS -- The Phillies wanted to give manager Charlie Manuel something he did not have last season: more power on his bench.They think they have accomplished that. They have signed Jim Thome, traded for Ty Wigginton and agreed on a two-year, $2.5 million contract with Laynce Nix. "We have a club that's aging a bit," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "We want to make sure guys who need a day off, it gives Charlie some options. Wigginton can play three or four positions. We have guys who we think can give Charlie a little flexibility in the lineup so certain guys can get rest. [John] Mayberry Jr. is a very versatile guy. "Versatility is important on the bench. This year, we were cognizant of power." Amaro said Mayberry could platoon in left field, presumably with Nix. "I think there are some people out there who think he's earned a chance to play every day and there are others who think that he needs a little protection," Amaro said of Mayberry. "John is a really good athlete, and he's a guy that when you scout him as an amateur and watch him develop, he's got a lot of tools that you look for in a Major League player.
"There are some parallels with Jayson Werth. Jayson was a tremendous athlete -- tall, lanky, good speed, good athleticism -- but it took him a while to hone his skills, especially offensively. I view John is sort of the same way. I think he's just starting to gain confidence and just starting to put it together. Is he going to be as productive as Jayson? I don't know that, but it seems as if he's on his way to being a good, sound Major League player."
Phillies' brass offers perspective
DALLAS -- The Phillies lost in the National League Division Series, but Phillies front office advisor Pat Gillick preached perspective at the Winter Meetings on Monday."You don't need to blow the thing up," he said. "You've just got to tinker with it a little bit. I mean, we won 102 games. We won more games than anyone in baseball. You have to be careful. You don't want to throw the whole thing out the window. You want to try to build and improve on it if you can. But if you can't then I think you're probably still capable of winning 90 to 100 games." General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. echoed that sentiment later in the day. "I like our club," he said. "We won a lot of games last year with the club that we had. I think we're going to have an improved club because we're going to have some guys that we think will be healthy or around longer like Chase [Utley] and [Hunter] Pence. A lot of it will depend on our health and some of it is put on whether Jimmy [Rollins] is back or not and how we work around that if he's not. But I like our club. I like everything about our club, frankly."
Will they accept?
The Phillies have offered salary arbitration to Rollins, Ryan Madson and Raul Ibanez.Ibanez will not accept, but Amaro Jr. said he hopes both Rollins and Madson accept because it would mean they would be signed to one-year contracts. But Amaro acknowledged the possibility of either accepting is remote.
Amaro said Ryan Howard, who had surgery to repair a ruptured left Achilles in October, will begin weight-bearing exercises and working underwater in a couple weeks. Amaro said the team will have a better idea of Howard's progression in January.
Amaro said he still expects to tender contracts to Ben Francisco, Kyle Kendrick and Wilson Valdez, each of whom are eligible for salary arbitration.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.