A Phillies Hot Stove Primer
You’re probably still bummed, but if the Phillies are going to become the first National League team to play in three consecutive World Series since the 1942-44 St. Louis Cardinals they are going to have to have a good offseason. So let’s take a look at what’s ahead in the coming months.
The Phillies, who have the salaries of Adam Eaton, Geoff Jenkins and Jim Thome finally off the books, already have $97.75 million committed to 11 players in 2010: Greg Dobbs ($1.35 million), Cole Hamels ($6.65 million), Ryan Howard ($19 million), Brad Lidge ($11.5 million), Ryan Madson ($4.5 million), Jamie Moyer ($8.75 million), Jimmy Rollins ($8.5 million), J.C. Romero ($4 million), Chase Utley ($15 million), Jayson Werth ($7 million) and Raul Ibanez ($11.5 million).
The Phillies have nine potential free agents:
- Paul Bako
- Miguel Cairo
- Scott Eyre – Type B free agent
- Pedro Feliz (pending $5.5 million club option)
- Cliff Lee (pending $9 million club option) – Type A free agent
- Pedro Martinez
- Brett Myers
- Chan Ho Park – Type B free agent
- Matt Stairs
They have seven players eligible for salary arbitration:
- Joe Blanton
- Eric Bruntlett
- Clay Condrey
- Chad Durbin
- Carlos Ruiz
- Shane Victorino
- Tyler Walker
Let’s look today at the two players with club options: Lee and Feliz.
We know the Phillies will pick up Lee’s option, which pushes the payroll to 12 players at $106.75 million. Asked last night if he would like to talk about a long-term deal with the Phillies in the off-season, Lee said, “I haven’t really thought about it. It’s not up to me. It’s up to … yeah, I’d like to, but I can’t force anything. That’s out of my control.” I’m guessing both sides will talk about an extension, but I also believe Lee is going to be very interested in testing the free-agent market after the 2010 season. If he pitches like he pitched the past two seasons, he is line for a major payday. I think a deal might be tough to reach, but I thought the same thing about Howard last offseason.
Do the Phillies pick up Feliz’s option? They could, but if they don’t there are options. Chone Figgins easily is the top free-agent third baseman on the market. Adrian Beltre, Juan Uribe, Mark DeRosa, Melvin Mora, Troy Glaus, Hank Blalock and Joe Crede also are out there. How good would Figgins be in this lineup? Fantastic. He hits, gets on base, runs and plays good defense. He sure would look good hitting between Rollins and Utley. Another name is Placido Polanco. He also would look good hitting between Rollins and Utley. He has played third before. In fact, he played there for the Phillies. But is he more comfortable at second base, where he has been since he joined the Tigers? He has not played third since 2005, so would the Phillies even think he can still play there?