SAN DIEGO — There are myriad questions about his roster that Ryne Sandberg cannot answer, not until the Phillies executed a few of the trades they have pursued. There are too many scenarios for Sandberg to speculate. He spoke in generalities Tuesday during a formal media session at baseball's winter meetings.

The Phillies want to field a younger lineup. Two of their younger players, Maikel Franco and Cody Asche, both play third base. Franco, 22, flashed an impressive glove during his 12 games at third base with the Phillies and is viewed as the franchise's future third baseman.

"That's where some versatility with Cody could really help him," Sandberg said.

Sandberg said Asche is a consideration for first base if Ryan Howard departs. Asche will "possibly" try different positions in spring training. Team officials, Sandberg said, have discussed such a move. Left field is another option, too.

Asche played second base during his first minor-league season. The reviews were never favorable, and it remains to be seen if Asche tries that position.

"There is some debate there," Sandberg said. "But to add a little versatility to Cody, whatever the combination could be, could be good for him going forward."

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