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Winter Meetings Set With Simple Tasks

Tomorrow begins the Winter Meetings.

Last year the meetings kind of limped without much movement; the Phillies did nothing during the three-day GM summit. This year, however, the meetings are in Las Vegas. This is apt — make all the gambling metaphors you can. But put that aside, and the Phils could do a few things at this year’s meetings. They’re looking for pitching, maybe an outfielder, and maybe some scattered bench pieces.

Here’s what the employed writers are saying:

Jim Salisbury — who will report from the meetings for the Inquirer — practically adds outfielder Juan Rivera to the roster. He adds that the Moyer discussions should continue, and it’s possible the Phils will sign a reliever. Finally, look for an extension for manager Charlie Manuel.

That’s something we can all agree on.

Scott Lauber, meanwhile, likes Jon Garland for the rotation among his third tier. He also thinks a reliever may be signed, mentioning Juan Cruz, David Weathers and Russ Springer. Rivera and Rocco Baldelli are the targets for left field, most likely, and internally, he thinks Asst. GM Scott Proefrock should meet with agents for arbitration-eligible players this week.

Over here, I think it’s becoming pretty simple: Pat Burrell is all but gone. Look for Juan Rivera as the left field piece, and I’m not opposed to that move. But first will be pitching, and I’m not sold on Jamie Moyer returning. Look for an offer to a third tier player such as Garland, especially as time ticks on No. 1 target Derek Lowe.

Like I said before, I don’t think the Phils need big splashes this offseason. A few solid moves (Garland, Rivera, an experienced reliever) should plug the immediate holes. And that’s what you want to do in the offseason — plug the immediate holes. Once the season runs, you see what you need and adjust. I have confidence that’s the gameplan Ruben Amaro Jr. is setting.

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