CLEARWATER, Fla. - He plopped into a leather chair, minutes after his first workout with his new team had ended, and it was official: Chris Coghlan was rebuilding again. No more champagne showers. No more parades. No more Cubbie blue.
Wait, no. There was one last thing to complete a dream offseason, one that began with him as a reserve outfielder on the world champions and ended with a minor-league deal and invitation to Phillies camp.
He needed to be sized for his ring.
"I have to go somewhere," Coghlan said Friday. "I don't even know. I've never done it. I don't know whether to pretend like I'm getting a ring, or: 'Hey, can I just get sized? I don't want to waste your time and my time.' Hopefully, I won't have to drop a name."
These are beautiful predicaments for a 31-year-old man, and the way Coghlan explains it, they drew him to the Phillies. Really. He is all but guaranteed a job on the bench; his minor-league deal will pay him $3 million if he makes the team. He said he had other offers.
But, after a three-year tenure in Chicago that began with 89 losses and concluded with a historic title, the veteran outfielder found joy in the process. He sees similarities in the Phillies' current situation.
"I don't feel like you're starting from scratch here," said Coghlan, his red shirt drenched in sweat from a three-hour workout. "I feel like I'm getting in at the perfect time, where it's maybe one or two years away. I'm just hoping to produce, stay healthy, and hope they like me. I want to be a part of watching something bigger than yourself."
The Phillies purged the clubhouse of the last remnants from their 2008 championship team. Now, Coghlan is one of three players in camp who have won a ring. Clay Buchholz and Daniel Nava captured a title with Boston in 2013.
Coghlan started 211 games for the Cubs from 2014 to 2015. As the team improved, his role was reduced. Chicago re-signed Dexter Fowler after spring training began last season, and to clear space, they flipped Coghlan to Oakland for a reliever. He was devastated; just as he assumed he would see the Cubs' transformation from also-ran to champion, they deemed him expendable.
By June, he returned to Wrigley Field in another trade. His time with the A's was not productive. Meanwhile, the Cubs craved an extra bat.
Coghlan delivered. He posted a .391 on-base percentage in 128 plate appearances with the Cubs, gaining valuable assignments against righthanded pitchers. He started Game 1 of the World Series, batting seventh, in right field.
"What made Chicago so special to me was I was there when we weren't very good," Coghlan said. "We had all the young guys like [the Phillies]. We traded all the older guys for prospects. I was there to bridge. I played well. They liked me and they kept me. In '15, the same thing. They started implementing some bigger things, name guys, guys who had produced before.
"So it was such a joy when we won last year. All the things off the field - the 108 years and all of that stuff, that was awesome. . . . I mean, you're one of 25 guys that walked the planet to ever win a World Series with the Cubs. It's pretty neat."
The Phillies liked Coghlan because of that perspective he could add to a young clubhouse. They liked him for reasons beyond that; Coghlan is known as an outfielder but logged time last season at first base, second base, and third base. He told Phillies manager Pete Mackanin he can play every position but shortstop and catcher. The Phillies needed a lefthanded bench bat. Coghlan, the 2009 National League rookie of the year, has a career .736 OPS.
"He's had some success all over the place, especially with the Cubs," Mackanin said. "He's a veteran player. I like to see the young guys incrementally improve with the addition of the veteran guys who can point the way, and he's one of them."
And, soon, he'll have his ring. "I hope I can't even stare at it because it's blinding me," Coghlan said. He has tried to explain the feeling to his new teammates.
"I just still can't even fully conceptualize it," Coghlan said. "It's something that is so much bigger than you. I watched more grown men cry that night than I have in my entire life. People had story after story after story."