Earlier in the week, we took at look at the offseason needs of the team. The biggest is a top of the line starting pitcher, a real ace. After that, they probably need someone to play first base. Another outfielder would be desirable, and with those hitters they could use a power bat as well as a high-OBP leadoff type. A veteran second baseman for a short term deal is possible, maybe not necessary. So let’s go over the bigger names that are out there, at least ones that I find interesting. I’ll start with the pitchers:
Cliff Lee – This guy is the top of the class, the best free agent available. He is head and shoulders above the competition, a no doubt number one. As hard as it is to believe, he’s only been a true ace for 3 seasons, back in 2007 he had a 6.29 ERA. Since then, he’s been on 4 teams, pitched 93 games and 667 1/3 innings with 536 Ks, only 95 BBs and a 2.98 ERA. He strikes out a good number, but simply does not walk batters. Another positive for him is how nice it would be to go into Philly with him leading the staff. The biggest negative is his age – he’ll be 32 next season, so more than 4 years might be just plain crazy, but teams will offer it.