The Hunt For Pitching Continues

It's a hunt that's been going on since the Winter Meetings. The Phillies haven't been able to find a top of the rotation starter to add to the mix, but that doesn't mean they've given up hope.

In case you haven't noticed, the Barry Zito sweepstakes are starting to come back to life. The Mets have been the most prolific suitor for Zito, but the A's are asking for either David Wright or Jose Reyes in exchange and the Mets don't like that idea. With the Mets in the hunt, you have to know that the Yankees can't be too far behind. Of course, they're a little preoccupied with looking for outfield help at the moment.

Another interesting scenario is unfolding right within our own little division. The Phillies have had scouts watching Dontrelle Willis, including on Sunday when he threw a complete game gem. Word is that the scouts believe Willis' earlier struggles this season were just a minor bump in the road and that he's healthy are returning to form. The Phillies are interested to say the least. They would also have the young pitching that the Marlins would likely ask for in exchange and possibly a position player or two if needed.

The Phillies aren't the only team watching Willis though. The Yankees and Cardinals have been shadowing Willis with thoughts of possibly putting together a package to approach the Marlins with.

Just what would the Phillies offer have to look like? Figure that Gavin Floyd would be offered, since he would be squeezed out of the rotation anyway. Plus, they would likely have to put either Daniel Haigwood or Giovany Gonzalez in the mix and maybe a position player to make it all work. It would be a high priced package to say the least, but Willis would look sweet in Phillies pinstripes. The good news is that Willis has two more years of arbitration left before he could be a free agent, so his price is going to be driven up by that fact, unlike Zito, who is a free agent after the season.

For now, Zito and Willis are the main blips on the Phillies' pitching radar. As the season continues, there are likely to be other names that will arise. The Phillies will have to consider just how much they would be willing to offer for a pitcher in terms of talent that they would package to get the deal done, especially if they're getting a guy who could walk after the season.

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