Here's the latest as the team closes in on Spring Training.
*The Kris Benson Watch The Phillies were thought to be the front runner for his services, with some sources reporting they had started contract negotiations, but a deal still has yet to be done. The longer this takes, the less likely it will be to happen. More teams might be interested now that Benson has worked out a couple of times. As I have said before, this wouldn't be much of an upgrade over Adam Eaton anyway.
*The Kyle Lohse Watch The other hot free agent that is at least somewhat on the Phillies radar is Lohse, but the Daily News puts the chances of signing him "remote". Lohse has lessened his expectations, backing off from his need for a four year deal, but he is still probably too costly for the Phils. Even though it won't happen, if the Phillies somehow came up with the money, signing him would put a solid cap on a productive off-season. Look for the Mets or even the Red Sox to sign him. The Sox are believed to be interested now the Curt Schilling's future is up in the air.
*Other Free Agent Options So what will the Phillies do if they don't get Benson or Lohse? Beerleaguer has a list of some of the remaining available free agent pitchers. Nothing on that list gets me excited at all, although I am surprised that Josh Fogg hasn't signed with anyone yet after he helped the Rockies during their improbable run last year.
*Brad Lidge Ready to Go There was some concern that newly acquired closer Brad Lidge wouldn't be able to pitch right away due to a balky knee, but he is now on track to be ready. Let's hope that he has regained the confidence he lost after the Albert Pujols bomb in the playoffs a few years ago.