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Phils aim to improve at third, in 'pen

Phils aim to improve at third, in 'pen

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Monday that his top two offseason priorities are finding a third baseman and improving the bullpen.

He reiterated those priorities Tuesday.

And the rotation? He said he sees a 2010 rotation that includes Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels.

"Hamels is one of our starters next year," Amaro said in a telephone interview. "And we view the combination of Hamels and Lee as strong a top of the rotation as anybody's in the league."

Amaro would not comment on the Phillies' reported interest in Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Roy Halladay, but sources said a trade for Halladay is highly unlikely. The Blue Jays requested right-hander Kyle Drabek, left-hander J.A. Happ and outfielders Domonic Brown and Anthony Gose for Halladay before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. The Phillies balked, kept their top prospects and sent four other prospects to the Cleveland Indians for Lee and outfielder Ben Francisco.

The Phillies were unwilling to part with a top package for two potential postseasons with Halladay. Toronto's asking price would have to drop considerably for one potential postseason with him. They also would have to find a way to afford his $15.75 million salary.

The Phillies continue to focus on finding a new third baseman. Adrian Beltre, Mark DeRosa, Miguel Tejada and Placido Polanco are possibilities.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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