#1 Fire Amaro. I've said all along Amaro was a piece of shit and now everyone agrees with me. The fact he hasn't be canned already leads me to believe he'll be here at least into 2015, which automatically pushes back when the Phillies could be competitive. Unfortunately, its not as simple as if hes here another year it will take one year longer for the Phils to return to prominence. The Phillies tradable pieces are aging the time to move them is NOW. I said I would have trade Ruiz, Utley and even Hamels when they were in the last year of contracts. And its no different now.
#2 Trade/Cut/Retire the vets. Sure Howard, Rollins and the aforementioned 08 core brought us some of the memories we will never forget but that was nearly six years ago. Its time to move on and necessary to be competitive sooner rather than later.
#3 The Phillies must keep spending money. The Phillies had for years operating like a small market team trading success for profits. The new Comcast deal infuses the team with a boatload of cash but the kid who for years watch the Fightins bring in has beens and retreads on the cheap says the faceless owners pocket that moolah and live the high life in the shadows.
Ok, so lemme piece it all together for you. The Phillies fire Amaro and bring in a competent GM. I'd like to see them bring in David Forst, the assistant GM from the A's. He learned under Billy Beane and if he can combine Moneyball with actual money who knows what could happen. You trade whatever veteran players you can and get prospects. Get as many blue chippers as you can but I'd rather see "high ceiling" prospects who are 19 and 20 than suspect major league talent who are ML ready now. The reason for that is because by trading Lee, Utley, Rollins etc you'll have all that money to bring in free agents and thus retain the ability to be competitive.
The more astute the GM is at signing free agents will determine what's next. Either you are ready to contend and can flip the prospects for major league level help or if the teams not ready let them develop in the minors, but yeah its all 3 criteria or its the long haul before we're talking about Red October again.
See ya at the ballpark!
P.S. # 4 Keep Paps!