A Hot Stove Refresher

Let’s catch up with where the Phillies stand as teams can sign free agents beginning Friday.

First, some important dates to know:

  • The Phillies have until Dec. 1 to offer salary arbitration to their own free agents.
  • Free agents offered arbitration have until Dec. 7 to accept.
  • The Phillies have until Dec. 12 to tender contracts to their remaining unsigned players.

Everybody knows the Phillies are looking for a new third baseman. They would love Chone Figgins, but they are not expected to be in the running because he is seeking a reported five-year, $50 million deal. The Phillies already have $106.75 million committed to just 12 players next season, which does not include significant raises to salary arbitration eligible players Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton and Carlos Ruiz, plus upgrades to the bullpen and bench. The Phillies are going to look for a shorter, more affordable contract to fill their void at third. More likely targets are Placido Polanco, Adrian Beltre and Mark DeRosa. The Phillies have had interest in Miguel Tejada in the past, but he also might command too big a contract.

The Phillies reportedly have expressed interest in right-hander Fernando Rodney, but if he can close elsewhere, I imagine that is where he would go.

The Phillies have nine free agents: catcher Paul Bako, infielder Miguel Cairo, left-hander Scott Eyre, third baseman Pedro Feliz, right-hander Pedro Martinez, right-hander Brett Myers, right-hander Chan Ho Park, outfielder Matt Stairs and left-hander Jack Taschner.

Park and Eyre, who are Type B free agents, seem to be the most likely players to return. Ruben Amaro Jr. said he has contacted Park’s agent about bringing him back. Eyre, who had elbow surgery last Monday, said he will play for the Phillies or retire. If he decides to play, the Phillies seem interested. He is 5-1 with a 1.62 ERA in 61 games since he joined the Phillies in Aug. 2008.

The Phillies have told Myers that he will not be back. If Stairs returns, it would on a Minor League deal.

If Feliz returns it means the Phillies’ plans to upgrade at third base did not go as intended. Amaro said last week that he has told Martinez that they have not closed the door on his return, but are focusing their attention elsewhere. It seems unlikely Martinez will be back.

Amaro hasn’t ruled out Bako’s return, but he also said finding a backup catcher is a priority, which indicates they will be looking elsewhere. Taschner is expected to sign elsewhere. It is difficult to picture the Phillies signing Cairo to anything other than a Minor League deal.

The Phillies have seven players eligible for salary arbitration: Blanton, infielder Eric Bruntlett, right-hander Clay Condrey, right-hander Chad Durbin, Ruiz, Victorino and right-hander Tyler Walker. The Phillies are expected to tender contracts to Blanton, Ruiz and Victorino. Durbin is a good bet, depending on how the Phillies rebuild their bullpen. The futures for Bruntlett, Condrey and Walker seem less certain.

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13 Comments

I’ve got a headache.

I think Beltre sounds like a good middle of the road choice for 3rd. Not as pricey as Figgins and a bit younger than DeRosa/Feliz.

Always liked Condrey and he has a great back story in how he got to the majors. Also thought Walker was pretty decent.

Bruntlett: thanks for the unassisted triple play and scoring runs during the last couple of championship runs. Maybe with another team your avg and playing time will increase.

Adrian Beltre made over $45 million in the last five years with Seattle, over $13 million last year alone. I am not so sure how middle of the road he would be. Fail to see any statistical difference between Feliz and DeRosa. They are the same age and made basically the same last year. Know nothing about DeRosa’s glove. It seems the Phillies are positioning themselves to sign the cheapest player.

Yeah, when Brunlett signs with the litle league as a FA ($25 per game) team he will get a bit more playing time, but don’t count on his average or production to improve any.

here’s a crazy idea for 3B which will get a better bat on the corner, and at the same time add some quality versatility to teh infield in general. Trade for Jorge Cantu. He’s arbi elegible which means the fish will look to dump him. He has played 3b, 1b, and 2b in the majors which allows the Phillies to rest Utley while playing Dobbs at 3b and moving Cantu to 2b for the game. He can also allow Howard to sit a bit.

Though his fielding is’t nearly what Feliz’s is, neither is DeRosa’s or Figgens. He’s cheap (ish) so we can invest in the pen, the bench and our own arbi guys (victorino, Ruiz, Blanton, etc)

Okay: I fully expect Mule, Phan and Pherris to rip me apart now

Another player I also heard mentioned was Garrett Atkins. He’s a very good friend of Utley’s (college roomates plus I think he might have been in his wedding). Anyone know when does ROY get announced?

Atkins was benched last year for a reason. I wouldn’t want him as an everyday 3b. If he is interested in being a bench player, at a bench player’s salary, then I’d pick him up. no idea when ROY is supposed to be announced, but generally MLB announces things at either 3 or 4 pm, I think

Haven’t heard Atkins mentioned, this year. (He was actually, Chase’s best man) He was batted around (no pun intended!) last year, but the Rockies wanted to keep him. Not sure if he’s available this year, but if you heard his name mentioned, Karen, I guess he is. Had an off year, this year, with the Rockies, though, so interest might not be high.

FIJ…I like Cantu’s name much more than DeRosa’s. Decent stick but there will never be a gold glove on his mantle.

Trading for Cantu? Definitely not. The guy can’t play a lick of Defense at 3rd base and will never see 1st base, with the ” Big Man” in Philly. And then if you put Cantu at 2nd base and Dobbs at 3rd base in the same game, might as well just concede the opponent 3 or more unearned runs a game.

Go after Beltre, if his asking price is reasonable. If not, go after DeRosa ( presumably as a bench guy) and try to bring back Feliz’ at a reduced rate ( as the starter). I highly Doubt any ML team will give De Rosa Or Felliz’ a Big Bucks contract to play 3rd base, at their age. The phillies can likely get at LEAST ONE of these guys.

Tell me about it jimmy, but at least he can play 3b, 2b, and 1b as well. Did you see that Brunlett was removed from 40 man roster. he’s gone!! :)

I agree on Cantu. Brunlett gets bashed a ton, but he was a utility infielder who didn’t get many at bats. He contributed as mach as any 24th or 25th man can, I’m neither happy or sad that he’s gone. He had some decent games for us, I wish him well.

he would have gotten more at bats if he could hit the ball. His lack of hitting, and therefore Charlie’s refusal to llay him, cost us this year as Charlie couldn’t rest Utley or Roliins really and had to waste a spot on the post season roster on Cairo instead of another pitcher. (NLCS) I know D is important in a utilty guy, but a but of O never hurt either

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