Monday, March 12, 2007

Components in Place for Phillies, Brewers Trade

With one too many light-hitting speedsters in the Philadelphia outfield, it looks like Shane Victorino is the odd man out.

The Phillies expected that with his ability to run, Victorino would have stolen more than a mere four bags in seven attempts last year, thus they see him as best suited to service as a fourth outfielder rather than as a starter.

So with right fielder Pat Burrell bringing power and little else to the game, and center fielder Aaron Rowand primarily desired for his glove, the Phillies could use a hitter who could hit for power and average, someone of the caliber of Geoff Jenkins.

Jenkins and his $7 million contract have been on the market since last July, but there have been no takers. After his down year in '07, it seems no one can be sure exactly how much Jenkins has left at 32. Meanwhile mixed reports come out of the Philadelphia front office as to the team's willingness to deal starting pitcher Jon Lieber, a serviceable major league hurler, or hold him in reserve as a sixth starter.

In any event, if the Phillies are to acquire this starting outfielder they supposedly want so badly, someone must be sacrificed as trade barter and Lieber is regarded as the prize. The Brewers interest would be piqued should staff ace Ben Sheets begins revisiting the trainer's room with the regularity of last year.