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Could Carlos Beltran help boost the Phillies' lifeless offense?

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"KEEP ON PHIGHTIN' WITH JOE VALLEE"

Saturday’s loss against the Braves marked another dreadful performance for the Phillies’ offense. The Fightins only managed three hits of Jair Jurrjens, who looks like the second coming of Juan Marichal whenever he faces the Phillies. Altogether, the Phillies’ 2-8 hitters were a combined 1 for 21 Saturday.   
 
The Ben Francisco experiment has most likely come to an end. Francisco is now hitting .071 in his last 12 games, and one would hope by now that the Phillies brass realizes that he is a 4th outfielder at best.  But don’t expect Domonic Brown to come in and fill his shoes right now, either. Brown sprained his thumb this weekend and will miss the next 5-7 days.  And do you REALLY think Brown will single handedly cure this team’s offensive woes anyway? It’s not even proven he can hit big league pitching yet.

And no, Chase Utley is still not ready. And when he returns, the jury is still out as to how effective he will actually be.

So in other words, the Phils look very limited as to what they can do offensively and they will be for quite some time.

It looks that way, but let me throw out a crazy scenario here where the Phils could possibly get some offensive help from the unlikeliest of sources:

That's right. I'm talking about the New York Mets

Wait a minute. The Mets are all losers, right?  Well.......kind of yeah. This goes against everything the Phils stand for, right? Luis Castillo anyone?  I know, I know, but just hear me out before the hate mail comes in!

Despite the Mets doing better than anyone expected at their 18-21 clip, they are currently seven and a half games in back of the Phillies and aren’t going anywhere. Moreover, to say the Mets are in financial turmoil is a vast understatement. Mets GM Sandy Alderson has gone on record saying that absolutely nobody on that team is untouchable, and some rumors are starting to spread.

Would the Phils consider Jose Reyes or David Wright? For the Phils sake, I hope not as far as Reyes goes. He has talent, but he most likely peaked in 2008. There has also been talk that he was one of the main reasons for the Mets’ collapses in 2007 as well as 2008. That’s what happens when you hit game-winning homers in July and wave your finger around like it’s the post-season.

Wright however, is an interesting case. I usually don’t EVER vouch for a Met, but Wright is undisputably the classiest guy on that team. Make no mistake, as long as he is a Met, Wright is the enemy. But he’s like the guy in the movies who is part of a group of thugs, but doesn’t belong there, doesn’t want to be there, and truthfully admires the rival gang his group dislikes. Wright hates playing at Citi Field, and either he or Reyes could possibly be dealt by the summer.

At this time however, Wright is not the right fit (pretty funny, right?......)  for Philadelphia, not even if Utley comes back ineffective and Placido Polanco moves to second base. For starters, Wright is owed a combined $29 million for the next two seasons with a $16 million dollar option for 2013. Carlos Beltran could actually be a pretty logical fit for the Phillies in 2011. He is 34 and not the player he was when he singed that contract for the Mets in 2005, but Beltran seems to be over his knee problems that have plagued him the last two seasons. Oddly enough, he is now playing right field.

Which brings us to Carlos Beltran. This is where things might get interesting

Beltran could actually be a pretty logical fit for the Phillies in 2011. He is 34 and not the player he was when he singed that contract for the Mets in 2005, but Beltran seems to be over his knee problems that have plagued him the last two seasons. Oddly enough, he is now playing right field.

Of course, the problem here is most likely salary. Beltran is owed $18.5 million for 2011, the final year of his contract. Because of the Mets’ money woes, chances are Alderson will want a team to eat a healthy part of that. This would present a problem for the Phillies’ ownership, unless John Middleton writes out a big check and says “No worries, Dave!”

The other issue is that the Phillies would most likely have to surrender prospects to the Mets as opposed to any players on the big league roster. After all, New York can’t take on the contracts of Joe Blanton or Raul Ibanez let alone manage their own payroll!

Back to the Phils' offense. Houston's Carlos Lee has been thrown around on internet sites as a potential player who could fit well in the team's lineup, but he's expensive too. A more likely choice would be Scott Podsednik, who was released by Toronto several days ago.   Only problem here is that Podsednik is a lefty with no power. He did however, steal 35 bases last year for the Royals and Dodgers. And whatever happened to Danny Clay?

Bottom Line: Either way, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out by now that there needs to be some offensive shakeup with this team. With Shane Victorino now part of the Phillies' walking wounded with a hamstring issue, more Phillies continue to drop. And with this all-important stretch of baseball coming up for the team, they HAVE to start swinging the bats.

Or else.

 

Joe Vallee is a lifelong Phillies fan and former Phillies batboy. Joe has claimed to have seen about 98% of every Phillies game since the early 1980's.

Contact Joe at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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