There are more seats open nightly at Citizens Bank Park these days. Sellouts — routine not long ago — are scarce.

An average 38536 fans are showing up to Phillies home games this year still good for sixth in the majors. Yet it’s the lowest mark for the Phils since 2007. Since 2009 they’ve averaged more than 44000 fans per home game.

The reason for the drop is simple: The product is worse.

Will it get better anytime soon?

That remains to be seen. But after staying idle at the trade deadline with an already-declining roster the team’s future isn’t the brightest. It’s why Jonathan Papelbon however much a clubhouse nuisance he is has voiced his opinions about not signing up for losing. It’s why Cole Hamels while indicating he didn’t support Papelbon’s outburst saw the logic behind it.

Why the team is in this position has been well publicized. They’re getting old. Injuries have deflated them the past two seasons. They’re paying a lot of money to players who aren’t worth it right now.

So how do they get out? Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has said repeatedly he plans on the Phillies contending in 2014 and every year after that. But even he knows this season is over.

“We may be looking more for tomorrow” Amaro noted. “I have to be realistic. We could be looking more toward 2014 than 2013 at this point.”

Which would be wise. Amaro has a little more than $103 million on the books for next season. That number will creep closer to $110 million once arbitration deals are done. The luxury tax this season was $178 million so there is plenty of money to go around.

And there are still plenty of holes in the roster looking toward next season.

“My job is to put ourselves in a position to have a lot less holes” Amaro said. “We have a lot of time to do that.”

He’s right. Plenty of time remains between now and February when the Phillies report to Clearwater Fla. for spring training in hopes of resuscitating their dead dynasty.