Aaron Rowand Not Going to Be Werth's Replacement

Written By Bob Cunningham On Friday, January 28, 2011
With the Flyers and Sixers still playing and the Eagles' search for a defensive coordinator dominating the headlines in Philadelphia, we seem to be forgetting about the Phillies and their search to find a replacement for Jayson Werth, who took the money and ran to the Washington Nationals this offseason.

Once Jeff Francoeur was off the market, there weren't a ton of free agents that excited the team or the fanbase, so the Phils stayed the course and avoided free agent outfielders.

With the drafts in the rearview mirror as well, the only option left is finding someone via trade. Aaron Rowand, who played in Philly for two years in 2006 and 2007, has been a popular name throughout this entire process, but I'm not sure the chances of him coming back to Philly even hit double digits.

The only way that trade happens is if the San Francisco Giants are willing to eat most of the $24 million he's owed over the next two seasons, and I don't see them being willing to do so. If they're going to pay him, they might as well keep him. And after trades for Roy Halladay and Oswalt, the Phillies' farm system doesn't have a whole lot to offer.

The only real pieces the Phils have -- Kyle Kendrick and Joe Blanton -- likely won't appeal to a team that has plenty of quality pitchers.

Perhaps more to the point, even if the Phils could get the Giants to accept a trade offer and eat most of Rowand's salary, is it even worth it?

The Phillies presently have a guy in Ben Francisco who is more than capable of filling in for a season until either A) the Phillies find a better fit next year via free agency, or B) Dominic Brown shows he's ready to take over and be a full-time player.

And as far as that goes, Francisco might only have to hold the spot for about three months while Brown plays for Triple-A Lehigh Valley and gets ready to platoon with Francisco.

Then there's a couple wild cards in guys like Ross Gload and John Mayberry, Jr. Gload, I suspect, is a last resort option since he's not the most nimble guy. Mayberry will likely have a legitimate shot in Spring Training to win the spot, but it's unlikely he can leapfrog Francisco or Brown.

At best, he can probably earn himself a spot on the bench to give Francisco a breather while Brown is in Triple-A.

So, contrary to what some believe, the Phillies have options at right field currently on their roster. There is no need to go out and get a guy like Rowand. Sure, Rowand would likely be more productive than anyone on the Phillies' roster, but it's not worth getting him at the expense of further draining the minor leagues.

Especially since the Phillies could be sitting on a future superstar in Brown.

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