Free agency not the only concern for Phillies

Free agency not the only concern for Phillies

Free agency not the only concern for Phillies
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies have been plotting their course of action for the offseason since Game 5 of the National League Division Series.

The pace picks up this week.

One-hundred forty-eight players became free agents on Sunday, and players can begin signing with other teams as early as 12:01 a.m. ET Thursday. But the Phillies have more than just free agency to worry about.

Here's a quick look at the things they have to handle in the coming weeks:

• The Phillies have seven free agents: Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Madson, Roy Oswalt, Brad Lidge, Raul Ibanez, Brian Schneider and Ross Gload. Rollins and Madson are the club's top two priorities, although both should be challenging to sign. If Philadelphia can't bring one or both of them back, the club will have to scramble to find replacements. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said they will continue to talk with Oswalt and Lidge about coming back, despite declining their mutual and player options, respectively. If the club plans to get younger like it has said, it seems likely the team will part ways with Ibanez. Schneider could be back as Carlos Ruiz's backup. Gload is not expected back.

• Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin is interviewing for the Red Sox's managerial vacancy. If he leaves, Philadelphia could promote Triple-A Lehigh Valley manager Ryne Sandberg to take his place, although Sandberg could be wanted to fill a managerial vacancy. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Sandberg interview for the Red Sox and Cardinals vacancies.

• Phillies big league scout Jim Fregosi Jr. left the organization to become special assistant to the general manager in Kansas City. The club has elevated scout Dave Hollins to take Fregosi's place. Hollins had been a special assignment scout. The Phillies presumably will need to fill his position.

• Assistant athletic trainer Mark Andersen has resigned. The Phillies will need to find his replacement.

• Double-A Reading manager Mark Parent has left to become bench coach with the White Sox. The Phillies hired Andy Tracy as a Minor League manager, although it's unclear what team he will manage. Once everything settles, they will be able to assign those roles.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.