PHILADLEPHIA -- At the outset of an unexpectedly early offseason, after the Phillies were eliminated during the National League Division Series, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. listed a pair of priorities for his winter:
Address the closer situation. Check. Jonathan Papelbon was signed as a free agent on Nov. 14.
Re-sign shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Check. The formal announcement came early Monday evening at Citizens Bank Park.
He's also signed Jim Thome and Laynce Nix and traded for Ty Wigginton. And with that, Amaro said, he's ready to begin the pursuit of a sixth straight National League East title.
"We're keeping our minds and our eyes open, but I'm very comfortable with the team we have going into Spring Training," he said. "We think we're going to be healthy other than, perhaps, a delay on [first baseman Ryan Howard, recovering from a torn Achilles tendon].
"I like our club a lot. I think we're one of the best clubs in the National League. And that's our job, to make sure we're contenders every year. And I think with the club we have now, barring injury, we'll be there."
One looming issue is left-hander Cole Hamels, who can be a free agent at the end of the 2012 season.
"That's a situation we'll deal with when it's appropriate. We're trying to put the best club on the field, not just for this year but beyond that. We've had discussions with Cole but this is more about Jimmy's day," Amaro said.
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.