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Field of screams: Phillies weigh options in outfield

Phillies weigh outfield options in 2014.

Carlos Beltran, Phillies, outfield Carlos Beltran is an interesting option via free agency for the Phillies. He's 36 years old with bad knees.


Beltran, Morse could fill void


Mike Morse is awfully comfortable at the plate in Citizens Bank Park.

"I've always liked hitting there," Morse said.

That's apparent. During a game in late September 2012, Morse hit a pair of moon shots off Tyler Cloyd. The second blast, which landed in the visitor's bullpen, nearly hit Ashburn Alley. The then-Nationals slugger will be a free agent after the World Series. Don't be surprised if the Phillies give Morse a look.

The Phillies need a big, right-handed bat. Ruben Amaro has indicated that the team isn't sold on Darin Ruf as an everyday outfielder and the team will fill the third outfield slot via trade or free agency.

If the Phillies go in the latter direction, they have a number of choices. The Phillies can sign a Type-A free agent without losing their first-round draft pick since they finished with one of the 10 worst records in baseball in 2013.

Odds are they will go with a free-agent outfielder, but don't expect the Phillies to sign one of the high-priced options. Jacoby Ellsbury is represented by Scott Boras. Shin Soo-Choo and Curtis Granderson will demand big buck, long-term deals and the Phillies have enough of those.

There's Corey Hart, Morse and Carlos Beltran. Despite being old (36) and possessing creaky knees, Beltran is having another tremendous playoff run.

"Carlos has been one of the elite players in the game for a long time," the Mets' David Wright said. "One of the things that is so great about him is that he is great against the best pitchers and in the situations with the most pressure."

Even with the breakout year from Domonic Brown, the Phillies' outfield was less than productive. It hit a combined .259 with just a .720 OPS.

"If the Phillies are going to compete next year, the outfield numbers have to get better," a NL scout said. "They have to find somebody that's going to give their pitchers some support."

 
 
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