A right-handed bat to offset the likely loss of Jayson Werth won't be the only offseason priority.
Say what you will about Greg Dobbs and the Phillies' decision to cut ties with the bench veteran, but now that he's gone, the Phils are critically thin in multiple positions in the infield. Wilson Valdez, who is 32 and played as well as the Phillies could have ever hoped last season, is the only capable backup at second, third and short, positions where the regular starters - Chase Utley, Placido Polanco and Jimmy Rollins - missed extensive periods with injury. Recall that the Phils grabbed utility veteran Juan Castro very early last offseason just to cover their bases, then signed Polanco, touting the fact that he could spell Utley at second. Turns out, the Phils never had the luxury.
With infield production as weak as its been in years, expect the Phillies to take care of their utility need early. While starting infield help is hard to come by, the market is saturated with versatile backup types. Former Phil Nick Punto became a free agent when the Twins declined his option and could fit the bill. The switch hitter hit .238 with 11 doubles and a homer in an injury-plagued season. Defensively, he's as good as any utility player on the market, can still run and will take a pitch, but his production has flatlined over the last two seasons. If the price is right, Punto would be intriguing to a team that loves to bring back old players. In addition, names like Geoff Blum, Melvin Mora, Willie Bloomquist, Juan Uribe, Craig Counsell and others are available, in addition to veterans like Ronnie Belliard and - yes - Pedro Feliz, who could be had on minor league deals.