Phillies targeting OF need, will look at Cruz, Choo, Ellsbury

The Phillies are targeting big-time free-agent outfielders and baseball people expect them to be in the mix for Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz and possibly Curtis Granderson.

Carlos Beltran is yet another outfielder who could interest the Phillies.

The Phillies have long been interested in Marlins star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, but there's no evidence to this point Miami would consider trading him.

The Phillies have a team built around superior starting pitching and veteran infielders but have a clear weakness in the outfield, where they got subpar production this past year. One person familair with their situation said they were even prepared to try to bring back Hunter Pence, who signed back with the Giants for $90 million.

That may show their level of interest in the position because they didn't hesitate to trade Pence in the summer of 2012.

Philly is said also to be prioritizing relief pitching in addition to outfield help. They are fortunate in that it's an above-average year for outfielders on the free-agent market.

General manager Ruben Amaro wouldn't address specific players, and rather succinctly summed up their needs as "catching, pitching, outfield."

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