Monday, March 17, 2008

Phillies Eyeing Lefties Fuentes, Sowers, Laffey

Phillies GM Pat Gillick said in a recent interview that the Phils are looking to add another lefty to their bullpen, and three names have surfaced as possible targets: Brian Fuentes, Jeremy Sowers and Aaron Laffey.

Fuentes, a Colorado Rockie, seems to be the best option out of the three. He has closing experience, and a career ERA of 3.53. He also averages more than a strikeout an inning, and would look great as an 8th inning set-up guy. Fuentes would also be insurance should Brad Lidge falter in the closer role, meaning the Phillies wouldn't have to rely on Flash Gordon. Fuentes seems like a great option, but Colorado's asking price might be more than the Phillies are willing to give up. The Rockies would definitely want a viable young prospect if they are going to part with their former closer.

Sowers and Laffey have been in the hunt for the 5th starter spot for the Cleveland Indians, but Cliff Lee appears to have nailed down that spot for the Tribe, making the two southpaws expendable. Sowers is a career starter, so he would be insurance for the rotation should Adam Eaton or Kyle Kendrick falter. Sowers had an ERA of 6.42 last year, so he's nothing to get excited about. Laffey, who is 22, has a little more upside. He's also a career starter, and made his debut last season with the Indians and put up pretty respectable numbers. He was 4-2 with a 4.56 ERA in 9 games last season.

If the Phillies want to win now, Fuentes would be the best option out of these three. For a player with some upside who can help the Phillies down the road, Laffey is the guy. Sowers doesn't have as much talent or upside, so knowing the Phillies, that's who they are going to end up with.

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