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Have the Phillies improved?

The Phillies finished last season at 81-81 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2006. Will they recover in 2013?

Greg Fiume

Have the Philadelphia Phillies attended to their most pressing needs with their off-season trades and signings? That is the question that David Murphy and Ryan Lawrence have set out to answer on

At least, they want to know how the 2013 squad stacks up against last season's disappointing team. Here is a piece of their analysis:

After choosing to sit out a wildly expensive and under talented free agent position player market, Amaro and Co. find themselves with a personnel structure that looks remarkable similar to the way it did on Opening Day last season. Go position by position and ask yourself: are the Phillies in any better position to contend than they were one year ago today?

Philadelphia will likely have a payroll in excess of $170 million for the third-consecutive season. So will this year's team be worth the price tag?

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