When the Phillies offered John Mayberry Jr. a contract through arbitration, it did not guarantee his return to the 2014 team. Given the way team officials have spoken at this week's winter meetings, they are actively seeking his replacement.

"I still see us possibly getting in piece for the bench," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "A righthanded bat, the defense with depth at centerfield would be a plus for us."

"That's one of the important parts about being more athletic," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "We'd like to get a little better in center if we can."

The Phillies are most likely to find that player via a trade, Amaro said. The free-agent options are severely limited. They could take a chance on a player like Franklin Gutierrez, a defensive savant prone to injury. But he could receive a higher guaranteed playing time elsewhere.