-- D. Hall, Primos, Pa.
The Phillies have been talking with agent Scott Boras about a deal, but it is believed he is seeking something similar to the seven-year, $120 million contract Matt Holliday scored last winter. If Werth's market falls and his demands drop from a seven-year deal to a four-year deal, for example, Philadelphia might be in position to bring him back.
But let's work off the assumption Werth will be very difficult to re-sign. If he isn't back, I don't see the Phils signing somebody just to sign somebody. The replacement should be an upgrade over what they currently have, which seems like a platoon with Domonic Brown and Ben Francisco (.901 OPS against left-handers last season and an .806 OPS against left-handers in his career).
Names like Magglio Ordonez (1.171/.954), Jeff Francoeur (.805 /.824) and Jermaine Dye (did not play last season/.871) are free agents. Matt Diaz (.830/.907) could be a free agent if the Braves non-tender him. Players like Josh Willingham (.909/.885), Carlos Quentin (.764/.773) and Aaron Rowand (.682/.826) could be available in a trade.
None of those players really blow away anybody, other than Ordonez. But I'm not sure the Phillies would go more than one year for Ordonez. ESPN.com reported the Philadelphia has inquired about Quentin, but I'm not sure how he fits. He hits worse against left-handers than right-handers, and the Phils are looking for a strong right-handed bat to bring balance to the lineup. I think Francoeur, Diaz and Willingham would make sense. They wouldn't break the bank and they seem like ideal platoon players.
With Roy Halladay turning 34 next year, should we be concerned that he threw 263 2/3 innings last season, including the playoffs?
-- Pete B., Roxborough, Pa.
I wouldn't be too concerned. Halladay has thrown 1,181 innings the previous five seasons, not including the playoffs, which is more than any other pitcher in the big leagues. He also is a fitness freak and stays in incredible shape -- which allows him to throw those innings. Before the Phillies signed Halladay to a three-year, $60 million contract extension last winter, they gave him a thorough physical. Nothing concerned them in those reports. Halladay has the body and ability to pitch without injury for years. If he does, people will say it's because he's a workaholic. If he gets hurt next season, people will say it's because of his workload. Either could happen, but I'd bet on the workaholic.
Have a question about the Phillies?
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With Mickey Morandini and Juan Samuel back in the organization, is there any hope for other old second basemen being brought back, like Randy Ready and Dave Doster?
-- Andrew G., New York
You'll be terribly disappointed to learn Ready is the Padres' hitting coach, so he's unavailable. Not sure what Doster is doing. But keep an eye on former Phillies when these big league and Minor League coaching jobs open in the future. It's natural for general managers and managers to hire people they know. Maybe this means Tomas Perez will be back in the near future.
Is there a slotting system when it comes to first-base coaches' salaries, and was Davey Lopes trying to shatter said system?
-- Jeff D., Philadelphia
There are not fixed salaries for coaches, first-base or otherwise. Salaries can range anywhere from $100,000 to $800,000, maybe more. It simply depends what each team wants to pay each coach. From what I've heard, the difference between the Phillies' offer and Lopes' asking price was not significant. But some think Lopes, who spends his offseasons in San Diego, simply wanted to return to the West Coast and used the stalemate to get him back there.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.