By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Many of the Phillies core players, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Cliff Lee, and Roy Halladay, are over 30 years-old. This off-season, the team added several players, Jonathan Papelbon, Laynce Nix, Juan Pierre and Ty Wigginton, among others, who are over 30 years-old as well.
Does that mean this could be the last year the Phillies can compete for a World Series title with this group of players? MLB.com Phillies beat writer Todd Zolecki and former Phillies closer Ricky Bottalico joined 94 WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and The Morning Team on Wednesday to discuss that topic.
“Well I don’t know if this year is it, I think they have a couple more years to go,” Zolecki said. “I mean the Phillies have pretty much acknowledged that they understand the window is closing with this core of talent.”
Listen to the interview with Zolecki and Bottalico:
Zolecki added that when you’re in the Phillies position, getting younger isn’t very easy. “When you’re talking about adding these older guys, an important thing to remember is, when you’re signing free agents, almost all of these guys are over 30. If you have a young, stud player in your system, and he’s 26 years old and you have him under control for three or four more years, you’re not going to trade him to the Phillies most likely,” he said.
The Phillies fell short of the ultimate goal of winning it all last season, but Zolecki doesn’t think that’s necessarily a product of the team not being put together the right way. “The Phillies were the best team last year, and they just ran into the wrong team at the wrong team. And the Phillies were not the best team in 2008, and they won the World Series that year.”