Questions surround Phillies after early exit

The Phillies have a decision to make on Jimmy Rollins.

Nobody expected one-and-done for this ‘Dream Team.’ but that’s the
reality we’re faced with.  Here’s five questions on the team going
forward.

1. Which free agents will return??

The three significant players who could depart are Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Madson and Roy Oswalt.
Will J-Roll leave the only organization he has ever known?

Madson will cost big bucks to sign after a tremendous year as the closer. Without Mad Dog, the back end of the bullpen is in disarray. It would make sense for the Phillies to re-sign Madson … but will they give up the dollars?

And will the Phillies bring back Oswalt? They can buy him out for $2 million and offer a new deal … or let him walk.  

2. What’s up with Ryan Howard
??

After rupturing his left Achilles tendon, will Howard play next season as he kicks off a five-year, $125 million extension? Will Howard ever be the historic run producer that he once was?

3. Which FAs will Ruben Amaro sign?

There are issues with the oft-injured and aging Placido Polanco at third. Polanco, 36, who has hit .151 in three postseason series, is past his prime. Would the Phillies consider signing slugger Aramis Ramirez to play third base? A-Ram, 34, is very productive but might not be the right fit at such an advanced age.

4. Is John Mayberry Jr. ready to be an everyday player?

It could be his time. However, if Howard isn’t back by opening day, Mayberry Jr. figures to be plugged into the first base hole instead of replacing Raul Ibanez in left.

5. Will Domonic Brown ever live up to the hype??

The Phillies’ aging core needs a serious infusion of youth. Brown, 24, would provide that. But will he ever meet the future-star hype, or even become a decent everyday player? Brown will have a chance to win the left-field job in spring training.


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