Phillies Focus on Polanco, Talks Serious
Multiple sources told MLB.com today that the Phillies have been very aggressive in their pursuit of Polanco, a free agent who played for the Phillies from 2002-05. The Phillies also had targeted Mark DeRosa and Adrian Beltre, but Polanco has separated himself from the pack. It is unclear how close the sides are to a deal.
The Red Sox, Astros and other teams have expressed interest in Polanco, but it appears the Phillies are further down the line in their pursuit.
Polanco, a career .303 hitter, has spent the past four-plus seasons with the Detroit Tigers, who acquired him in a trade with the Phillies in 2005 for relief pitcher Ugueth Urbina and infielder Ramon Martinez.
Polanco hit .285 with 10 home runs and 72 RBIs in 618 at-bats last season with Detroit. He hit .341 in 2007 and .307 in 2008.
He has played only second base with the Tigers, where he won three consecutive Gold Gloves. Polanco has played 322 games in his career at third base, but only nine since the end of the 2004 season.
If the Phillies sign Polanco, he could hit second in the Phillies lineup between Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley. Polanco struck out just once every 14.7 plate appearances in 2009, the second-best mark in the Majors. He has averaged just one strikeout every 17.5 plate appearances the past five seasons, which also is the second-best mark in the Majors.