What should the priority be?

Ruben Amaro Jr. has some difficult decisions ahead of him this offseason. (Clem Murray/Staff Photographer)

What floored me the most in the moments following the Phillies' exit from postseason baseball was the sheer amount of issues this franchise now faces. This winter already promised to be a busy one with several free agents hitting the market, but the early defeat only raised more questions. 

There could be massive philosophical shifts in how the team operates. What those could entail, we do not know. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has yet to offer his postscript to a disappointing season. (He is expected to do so sometime this week.)

In the meantime, what would you consider to be the most important move for the Phillies this offseason?

Here are some of the pressing options (presented in no particular order) with the theoretical arguments for why each move should happen:


Should the Phillies re-sign Jimmy Rollins to a long-term deal?

- Re-sign Jimmy Rollins: He's the heart and soul of the franchise. He's still an above-average shortstop. He's the best option the Phillies have there.

- Re-sign Ryan Madson: A staff of aces is worthless without a trusted closer. He proved he can pitch in the ninth inning. He's a homegrown guy with plenty of good years left.

- Exercise Roy Oswalt's option: The pitching is what carried this team. No one can be sure what Joe Blanton offers. Oswalt is expensive at $16 million, but that's the cost of doing business.

- Lock up Cole Hamels: It's time to make sure the youngest of the aces doesn't go anywhere. A long-term deal now prevents a nasty arbitration case. And he's only starting to enter his prime.

- Upgrade third base: Placido Polanco is owed $6.5 million in 2012, but is he an everyday player still? Third base is a power position and the Phillies need more production there. By the end, Polanco was a black hole.

- Overhaul the entire bench: The Phillies have the oldest team in baseball and getting younger is easier said than done. So improve the depth behind the aging starters. Spend a chunk of money on reserves.

- None of the above: I have the secret plan that will make them all fall.

Tell us in the comments section.

(NOTE: I don't agree with everything written above. It's simply the possible argument to make in favor of said move.)

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