That's more optimistic than his offseason assessment that it could be a couple years before the Phils were competitive, and it runs counter to the national impression that the team could have one of the worst records in baseball.
Gillick didn't back down after arriving at Osceola County Stadium for Thursday's 6-3 Grapefruit League loss to the Astros, but he added another important caveat.
"I think a lot depends on if we stay healthy, and a lot depends on who stays here through the entire season. If this group is together through the entire season and the younger people come along, we've got an opportunity maybe to get to .500," Gillick said. "If some of the people we have here, for one reason or another, are traded, then that would change the situation. But the group we have now, if we stay healthy, I think we can hopefully reach .500."
It is widely accepted that starters Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee and closer Jonathan Papelbon are among the big names who could be moved if the price is right. Asked what he thinks is the likelihood that stars will still be on the roster when the season ends, Gillick shrugged.
"It all depends what [general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.] gets offered for different players. If it's something that's going to make us better for the future, that would probably change things, change the outlook for 2015. But if it's going to make us better down the line, he'd certainly have to consider it," Gillick said.
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.