The reality increases daily of a Phillies outfield hodgepodge formed by Ben Revere, Domonic Brown, John Mayberry Jr., Darin Ruf and Laynce Nix. The man tasked with forming the 2013 roster was willing to admit as much Monday.
"We're likely going with what we've got," Ruben Amaro Jr. said.
Spring training begins Feb. 12 in Clearwater, Fla., and the Phillies will arrive with hopes pinned to an aging, expensive core. Youth is the choice in the outfield, for better or worse.
"There's some risk in going with a possible double platoon or letting the guys we have battle it out for playing time," Amaro said. "There are some advantages to that, as well. The best-man-wins type of scenario can be created and likely will be created in spring training. At the same time, a lot of these guys are not proven everyday major-league players. But that doesn't mean they cannot become them."
The GM did not eliminate the possibility of a veteran addition for the outfield, but admitted within his current constraints (both monetary and player-wise), there is not much more than a marginal upgrade available. He categorized his current pursuit as "looking around for some low-risk, high-reward type of players."
There is money to spend, if the Phillies maintain a similar payroll to 2012. The Phillies are an estimated $7 million shy of the $178 million luxury tax threshold. Amaro said he has "a little bit" to spend. He would not say if he has extended any formal offers to current free agents.
The Phillies have 39 players on their 40-man roster.
What Amaro and his lieutenants may have decided is those resources are best utilized later. The reported options in free agency and trades -- Scott Hairston, Vernon Wells, Alfonso Soriano -- are flawed. There could be a better fit come July. Should the Phillies enter 2013 with wiggle room, they could be well-positioned for the splash everyone expected this winter.
"If there is a player that is better who we feel could help us now, we'll utilize our resources to get him," Amaro said. "If there isn't, then we may be better served to hold on a see what we could do during the year."
Chances are the Phillies start 2013 with an unproven outfield. If anything, it should make for a fascinating spring training.