By: Andy Wheeler

It’s Cowboys week, so obviously I’m going to talk about the Phillies. Yeah, that’s just my A.D.D kicking in.

I love the “hot stove” time of year in baseball. Nothing is better than figuring out where guys are going to go, who’s getting traded where, and what your team might look like when all the moves are made.

In recent times it was fun to watch the Phillies at this time of year. One of the bigger payroll teams that was a contender… they were always in on something.

This year it’s Dennys Reyes and that’s it. Why do I think that we’ll be making “Dennys Grand Slam” jokes this year? He has to be better than Romero, but that’s not the point.

We saw Jayson Werth go to the Nationals for an obscene amount of money. There went our right fielder. And while I think that he’s a good player, there’s no way he’s worth what they paid him. Also no more “Is Werth Worth It?” headlines please. He’s not… so I can stand behind the Phillies letting him walk.

But if that’s the market… what do the Phillies do now if they are trying to stay within a specific budget?

All the really good players are gone and there were very few out there to begin with. So what do they do? This is one of those times where not much is going to happen to get excited about. Or is there?

Here are 5 things I think the Phillies should do… considering their payroll constraints. Some of these could happen… others are options if they don’t

1. Phillies trade Raul Ibanez for Aaron Rowand

Look this one seems kind of silly…but it works if they play with the money. Rowand has 2 more years on his contract for roughly 24 million dollars. Ibanez has one year left at around 11.5 Million. Say the Phillies and Giants agree that for this season no money changes hands…but in 2012…they take the 12 Million owed to Rowand and each pay half. That means we get our right handed outfield bat, they get the left handed stick they want and rid themselves of Rowand’s untradeable contract. And then we only owe him 6 million next year. Honestly…this makes too much sense.

2. Phillies sign Bill Hall

It’s not flashy, but he can be what we need. He can play 6 different positions. He’s got some pop and you don’t need him to go crazy, you just need him to be a right handed bat that you can put in the lineup from time to time.

3. Phillies sign Kerry Wood or Chad Durbin

Kerry Wood would be my preference, just because he’s got some closing experience…although with mixed results. But he was great setting up with the Yankees, and he would be a better option than Madson to close at this point. His price will probably be high though…so Durbin would be just fine to bring back. We got a lefthander…now we actually need another right hander.

4. Phillies sign Manny Ramirez

He’s terrible in the outfield, no question. And his bat has slowed significantly since he doesn’t have “help” anymore but I look at this as a win win. You use him like you used Burrell when he was here. First 6 innings in the field then bring in a defensive replacement. The Bank would turn some of those underpowered balls he hits into homers…and guess who Manny loves like a father? Charlie Manuel. He was his hitting coach with the Indians. And Charlie loves him like a son. Somebody that could actually control Manny and get the most out of him…how hasn’t this happened already? With about 1 year left in the Majors at most, Manny in left would be a significant upgrade even part time. And a lineup of Victorino, Polanco, Utley, Howard, Manny, and Rollins scares me even looking at it on paper.

5. Phillies sign Brandon Webb

I’m a gambler, why not roll the dice? Take a chance on a guy that had Cy Young stuff before his surgeries. If he were to comeback to 85% of what he was with that great sinker, he’d be perfect here. People keep talking about Grienke to the Phillies or the impossible idea of bringing Cliff Lee back. Webb is a nice risk, and a rotation of Halladay, Oswalt, Hamels, Webb and Blanton looks pretty good to me. And we don’t have to overpay or give away the farm to make it happen.

So those are my thoughts on the Phillies. And if you think they should have signed Werth for all that money…it’s time to start taking your meds again.

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