Waiver Shopping Going Slowly For Phils

With one week to go to add pieces to the potential playoff puzzle, the Phillies continue to shop. There are some interesting names still out there, but the Phillies have been pretty quiet on the waiver trade rumor mill.

The Phillies feel that they did pretty much all they needed to do to improve their club when they added Cliff Lee to the roster in a deal with Cleveland. The addition of Lee has given the starting rotation a boost and he has been better than anyone could imagine he would be in Philadelphia.

In that same deal, the Phillies added outfielder Ben Francisco, who has shown himself to be a good addition to the Phillies bench. Francisco has given the Phillies a solid right-handed bat off the bench, which was a huge need for the club throughout the season.

The only real moves that the Phillies are looking at should generally come from within.

Brett Myers is inching back to available status with the ball club, which could give them the added arm that they need at the back of the bullpen. Myers, who has closed for the club in the past, would give some insurance against a meltdown by incumbent closer Brad Lidge. Getting Clay Condrey and J.C. Romero off of the DL would also help the Phillies bullpen, although both have suffered setbacks in their rehab from injuries, both should be able to join the club for the final month of the season.

So, with Lee and Francisco answering two key questions and some soon to be healthy arms to help the bullpen, the Phillies feel that they've pretty much closed the main holes that they were concerned about.

The only remaining spot of concern would be possibly finding a stronger utility infielder. For now, the Phillies are happy with Eric Bruntlett, although his 3-for-5 day in New York on Sunday only brought his season average to .154, he's the talk of the town thanks to pulling off an unassisted triple-play to end the game. Still, there is no denying that Bruntlett would be considered a weak spot on the Phillies roster.

The Phillies toyed with signing veteran Nomar Garciaparra prior to the season, but Garciaparra wound up in Oakland where there was going to be the potential for more playing time. Now, the Phillies asked Oakland about Garciaparra, who is hitting .266 in 53 games with the A's this season. Oakland would part with Garciaparra, but the Phillies haven't seemed too ready to pull the trigger on a deal.

Perhaps, the Phillies will again hook up with Cleveland. The Indians would deal utility infielder Jamey Carroll, who is one of the best backup infielders in the business. Carroll, who has played at third, second, right and left this season, is hitting .290 with a .376 on-base percentage in 63 games with Cleveland.

Ideally, the Phillies would find someone capable of playing at second, third and short. Someone like Eric Bruntlett, only with a better bat. Garciaparra started his career as a shortstop, but played only 31 games there last season after a two-year layoff from the position. He's also played just one game at second in his career and just 17 games at third over the past two seasons. Although Carroll has played second and third pretty regularly over the past few seasons, he hasn't played at short since 2007 when he played 11 games there for Colorado.

Miguel Cairo was recently re-added to the Phillies roster over the weekend and might provide an answer if the Phillies wanted to make a change. While Cairo hit just .118 in 15 games with the Phillies earlier this season, he hit a strong .287 in 78 games with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs since accepting an assignment to the Triple-A club earlier in the season. Cairo played second, short and third during his stint with Lehigh Valley, making him a potential replacement candidate.

Odds are that the Phillies will sit out the final trade frenzy to add players to the roster in time to be a part of the playoff rosters. Instead, they'll focus on finding any potential replacements from what they already have in the organization. Should the injury to Greg Dobbs be a concern to the Phillies, perhaps they'll look for another left-handed bat to fill a spot on the Phillies bench, but Dobbs should be fine by the time the regular season winds down.



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