As the 2016 MLB season approaches, SN’s Je se Spector will examine each team’s outlook. Today: the Phillies. 2015: 63-99, fifth place in National League https://www.cardinalsedge.com/st-louis-cardinals/matt-carpenter-jersey EastKey arrivals: OF Peter Bourjos, RHP Jeremy Hellickson, RHP Charlie Morton, RHP Vincent VelasquezKey departures: RHP Ken Giles, OF Jeff Francoeur, RHP Justin De FratusBest-case scenario: Maikel Franco hits a whole bunch of home runs and continues on a path toward stardom as a building block for the future. Ryan Howard hits well enough to get himself traded to a contender for a significant return in July, and maybe Carlos Ruiz, too. Aaron Altherr shows himself to be a useful regular at the major league level and Odubel Herrera’s plate discipline improves, providing a base for the future of the Philadelphia outfield. The Phillies get serviceable pitching out of their veteran additions to the rotation and flirt with .500 into July, winding up with a 75-win season and a hint that the rebuild is closer to done than expected.MORE: Fantasy: Key players on new teams | Every AL teamhas a shot Worst-case scenario: Aaron Nola’s first full season in the major leagues is a disaster, and things aren’t much better for Vincent Velasquez and Jerad Eickhoff. Through the malaise of Bob Gibson Jersey a season full of losing, young hitters regre s and develop bad habits. Instead of taking a step forward, the Phillies suffer their first 100-lo s season since 1961.Big question: How close are the Phillies to returning to relevancy in the National League East? Outside of contract options on Howard, Morton and Ruiz (only Morton’s has a legitimate chance of being exercised, at $9.5 million), the only player Philadelphia has under contract for 2017 is Matt Harrison and there are only five players eligible for arbitration. That sets the Phillies up to be big-time players on the talent acquisition market next winter, if they feel they’re close, or in what figures to be a bonanza leading up to the 2018 season. It may have taken too long to do the teardown, but it has happened, and now that it has, the players who are there will have the chance to show what they can do and prove that they deserve to be part of much bigger things ahead.Don’t forget: The Phillies were 37-51 after Pete Mackanin took over as manager last year, which is a very modest 68-win pace, but an improvement over the 56-win pace they were on when Ryne Sandberg stepped down. That was Mackanin’ https://www.cardinalsedge.com/st-louis-cardinals/vince-coleman-jersey s third time as an interim manager, and this is his first time starting a season with a team. He’s been around long enough to know what the deal is here, that this year is about learning and positioning for the future. He should be able to emphasize the importance of trying to win as much as po sible in the short term while maintaining focus on the bigger picture.Five crazy-sounding words you can talk yourself into not sounding so crazy: Phillies in playoffs before Nationals.Over-the-top proclamation to regret later: The Phillies won’t finish last in the East.