The Reshaping Begins

(Photo: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

With the official start of the off-season, the Phillies face some decisions on how to proceed with building a club that can return to the World Series. Those decisions have started to come down.

From the "no surprise there" department, the Phillies are cutting ties with pitcher Brett Myers. Myers, who was at one time the ace of the Phillies pitching staff is now a pitcher without a place on their roster as GM Ruben Amaro Jr. announced that the club would not offer a deal to Myers, who is eligible for - and filed for - free agency.

Myers will now have to decide two things. First, does he market himself as a starter or potential closer? And second, where would he like to pitch in 2010?

Perhaps the toughest decision to make came on Pedro Feliz. While he hasn't provided the offense that the Phillies had figured he would bring to Philadelphia, Feliz has continued to play his trademark gold glove worthy defense at third base.

Faced with either giving him a deal worth $7 million for 2010 or buying out his deal for $500,000, the Phillies chose the latter and made Feliz a free agent. Amaro doesn't rule out the possibility of re-signing Feliz at a cheaper rate, but barring that, the Phillies will have to either deal for a starting third baseman or find one through free agency, since there are no potential replacements in the minor league system.

Matt Stairs is also eligible for free agency and Amaro is willing to let him go. Amaro has said that the only way the Phillies would re-sign Stairs would be on a minor league deal and he would have to fight for a roster spot in spring training.

The Phillies will also have to decide what to do with left-hander Scott Eyre. Initially, Eyre had said he would retire after the season, but late in the year, admitted that he was enjoying his time in Philadelphia so much that he might be interested in coming back for another season. Eyre is eligible for free agency, but complicating his situation is the fact that he's undergoing surgery this week to remove some loose bodies from his left elbow. Eyre is another possible minor league deal for the Phillies if they want him to prove he's healthy and fight to regain his job in spring training.

Right-hander Chan Ho Park is eligible for free agency as well and he and the Phillies are working on a deal for 2010. Park has said he would like to return to Philadelphia and Amaro is interested in bringing him back into the Phillies bullpen, if the two sides can work out a solid deal. It's likely that Park will return to the Phillies unless he were to price himself out of the range that the Phillies will want to pay.


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