The Phils improved their rotation for 2016 by getting Charlie Morton (above) from the Pirates and Jeremy Hellickson from the Diamondbacks.

By Sam Bush

Key acquisitions to date: Peter Bourjos, Jeremy Hellickson, David Hernandez, Vincent Velasquez, Brett Oberholtzer, Charlie Morton, Mark Appel, Thomas Eshelman, Jonathan Arauz, Peter Bourjos,Edward Mujica, Andrew Bailey, David Hernandez.

As ESPN’s Jim Bowden writes, “The Phillies are clearly “tanking” as they attempt to rebuild through scouting, player development and trades for young players.”

They got a good return for Cole Hamels at the trade deadline last season and plenty back in the trade that sent Ken Giles to the Astros. The Phils netted four pitchers, highlighted by Appel and Velasquez.

The Phillies have a long way to go before they become contenders again, but they have a solid plan and strong leadership — led by Andy MacPhail and Matt Klentack — to help get them there.

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