The Phillies need a center fielder and it appears they may be one of the final teams in the running to sign free agent center fielder B.J. Upton.
According to Jim Bowden of ESPN the Phillies and NL East rival Atlanta Braves are the two teams thought to be in the mix, with reports of a mystery third team also in the bidding process.
Braves-Phillies in fascinating bidding war for BJ Upton with mystery team...Braves considered in slight lead with final offers due this week— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) November 25, 2012
So, who is this mystery team? That remains anyone's guess. The Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals have been suggested to be potential mystery teams for Upton, which could make for an interesting NL East battle.
As it stands right now, judging by multiple opinions out there it appears the Braves are the leader in the clubhouse for Upton, who is expected to make his decision this week, but you have to wonder if Ruben Amaro can gain an upper hand before that decision is made final. The question of course is how much can the Phillies afford for a player like Upton, or should they look for a cheaper more economical solution to fill center field.
As much as I think it would be a mistake overall, I am starting to cautiously buy in to the idea of signing former Phillie Shane Victorino. When Victorino was traded this season I believed it was he right move to free up some payroll, attempt to change the team chemistry and try to find some younger players to build for the future. That said, with Victorino out there and Upton and Michael Bourne perhaps not in the picture, maybe Victorino would be a possibility. I would just guess Victorino would be willing to return to Philadelphia at a discounted rate compared to what he may receive elsewhere, and compared to other options I would assume Victorino would not be getting top-flight outfielder money.
The other option that seems to be mentioned the most is Angel Pagan, a good solid player that can help out with some small ball offense as the team seems to realize they are no longer a home run mashing team. I can't say I would be too opposed to Pagan, and to me Pagan is an overall upgrade from Victorino.
But I might not be as opposed to the concept of bringing Victorino back as I once was.
Who do you want the Phillies to go with in center field in 2013? Upton? Bourne? Pagan? Victorino?
Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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