Just about a year ago, I made my first post for Philliedelphia. The article detailed my wish list of moves for the Phillies to make heading into the 2013 campaign. Though a few of the players mentioned were, at some point, garnering some interest from the ball club, none of the deals came to fruition. As you know, the 2013 season did not end very well for Philadelphia, missing the playoffs and finishing with a record under .500 for the first time in over ten years. But how would the moves I suggested helped or hurt the team? Would they have gotten more production? Here is how each of those players performed this past season and how they would have fit into the mold of the team.
1. Ryan Madson - Signed 1-Year, $3.5 Million Deal with the Angels/Later released
2013 Statistics: Did Not Play
Back in 2011, the Phillies benefited from a career year off Ryan Madson's arm. 32 saves, a FIP of 2.25, and 9.2 K/9 ratio helped guide the Phillies to a 102-win season. In the offseason, though, the Phillies were not able to work out a contract with the free agent reliever, even with the rumor of a 4-year deal in place. It ended up being a blessing, as Madson signed a 1-year deal with the Cincinatti Reds, but missed the entire year due to Tommy John surgery. In the next offseason, Madson signed anther single year contract, this time with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. However, the former Phil would not throw a single pitch for them either, making one minor league appearance. Now, having gone two seasons without a major league pitch and recently firing agent Scott Boras, a return to Philadelphia is in the air once again.
2. Torii Hunter - Signed 2-Year, $26 Million Deal with the Tigers
2013 Statistics: 144 games, 17 HR, 82 RBI, 5 SB, .337 OBP, .465 SLG, 2.5 WAR
Had veteran outfielder Torii Hunter signed in Philadelphia, a lot of corresponding moves would have been made, and several decisions made by Ruben Amaro Jr. would have been unnecessary. First off, it is almost certain that Delmon Young would have been a non-factor. Domonic Brown may have made the move to right field, but no one will know for sure. Darin Ruf may not have come to the majors quite so early, though the loss of Ryan Howard in-season probably keeps things the same. Ruf probably would not have seen as many at-bats either. The carousel of outfielders would have been a lot less carnival-esque. Would Hunter have put up the same numbers in Citizens Bank Park? Probably, and maybe even better, with The Bank serving as a much more hitter-friendly arena than the confines of Comerica Park in Detroit. Yes, Torri Hunter would have been an excellent pickup for the Phillies.
3. Kevin Youkilis - Signed 1-Year, $12 Million Deal with the Yankees
2013 Statistics: 28 games, 2 HR, 8 RBI, .305 OBP, .343 SLG, -0.4 WAR
The Greek God of Walks has been less then productive since leaving the Boston Red Sox. I believed that 2013 would be a bounce back season for the third basemen, but I was quite off. Instead, Youkilis began the season on the 15-day disabled list because of a back strain. He would end up playing just 28 games for New York when a herniated disk ended his season before July even began. My reason for putting The Youk on last year's list was to fill the third base hole, but in this case, the move the Phillies made actually paid off much better. Though Michael Young didn't have his best season, he made for a much more formidable player while also helping give Cody Asche a few pointers.
4. Cody Ross - Signed 3-Year, $26 Million Deal with the Diamondbacks
2013 Statistics: 94 games, 8 HR, 38 RBI, 3 SB, .331 OBP, .431 SLG, 1.8 WAR
Despite beginning and ending the season on the disabled list, Cody Ross put up some pretty good numbers. His production put him in the lineup almost every night, even with Arizona's long list of depth in the outfield. He was hitting well over .300 following the All-Star Break, and seemed destined for another solid campaign until a dislocated right hip ended his season early. Had the Phillies signed Ross and Torii Hunter, the outfield situation would have been a whole new ballgame (get it?). Ben Revere is probably never brought in, meaning Vance Worley remains in the rotation and a few young names perhaps never make the major league squad.
5. Brett Myers - Signed 1-Year, $7 Million Deal with the Indians/Later Released
2013 Statistics: 4 games (3 starts), 21.1 IP, 8.02 ERA (8.72 FIP), -0.7 WAR
Perhaps it is time for Myers to give up a bid for a starter's role. After a 3.31 ERA , 19 save 2012 season, Brett was a huge disappointment for Cleveland. By mid-April, Myers' numbers were too much for the Indians to keep in their rotation. Eventually, he would be placed on the disabled list with a strained elbow, and would not throw another pitch for the major league club. Despite a lengthy rehab assignment, Myers would be released by the Indians in September. Someone is almost certain to give him a look to fill a bullpen spot, perhaps even the Phils. Had he signed with the team last offseason, he probably would have been in the pen from the start, ready to make spot starts throughout the season. His production, though, would not have been worth the $7 million.
Money and injuries would have been the biggest concern had the Phillies made any, or all, of the moves on my list. After my reflection, I still would have been in favor of signing the two outfielders, despite the cost to both and limited play by Cody Ross. The two signings would've severely altered the moves we saw made all throughout the season. I don't know for sure if the two signings would have propelled Philadelphia into a playoff spot, but it would have put them in a better position.
Both former Phillies I had mentioned went on to be dreadfully disappointing, combining for just over 20 innings of work. Once again, there is a chance the Phillies sign both these guys in this year's offseason, but nothing is for sure.
As for the four players I listed as untouchable on my list (Josh Hamilton, B.J. Upton, Melky Cabrera, and Alex Rodriguez), let's just say I was actually right. None of the players would've been worth the money or prospects they commanded, and the Phillies front office was smart enough to stay away from each.
Within the next few weeks, I'll write up my wish list for this year's offseason. Hopefully this time, I can be a bit more correct in my predictions.