Polanco Signs Three-Year, $18 Million Deal

The Phillies announced Placido Polanco has signed a three-year, $18 million contract. The contract also includes a fourth-year mutual option for 2013.

Polanco will meet with reporters later today.

Update: The Phillies also just announced that Juan Castro officially is a Phillie. He signed a one-year $750,000 contract with a club option for 2011. He will make $700,000 in 2010. He has a $750,000 club option with a $50,000 buyout for 2011.

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34 Comments

Terrible move. A 3 year deal for a 33 year old whose physical tools are declining to play a position he hasn’t played in four years, one that requires much greater arm strength. And a mutual fourth year option? What the christ?

Yes Beltre has 30 home run power, but he will also strike out 100 times and has a career on base percentage under .330. Not to mention he is coming off surgery. Polanco’s age is a concern, but he was the 2 toughest in the league to strike out last year, almost 1 every 15 at bats, and his career on base percentage is .348. Even in his MVP season, Rollins on base percentage was only .344. The Phillies don’t need power more power. They need a guy who can hit for average and put the ball in play, as was evident in the World Series (6 solo home runs…). Polanco’s defense at third can be questioned, but he has been successful there before, so there is no reason to think he can’t be more than adequate. That being said, I would much prefer a 2 year contract with an option 3rd year.

Also keep in mind Beltre is a Type A free agent who was offered arbitration, so signing him would mean we forfeit our 1st round draft pick in 2010, a year after trading away 4 solid prospects to get Cliff Lee.

A truly disgusting, heartbreaking move. After teasing the fans with Beltre, his potential Gold Glove and 30 homers, we’re now getting Polanco shoved down our throats for three, maybe even four years. I can just picture this team a couple of years from now with Polanco and Ibanez creaking around the left side of the diamond. Or maybe even both of them gone, but continuing to weigh down the books. Nice job of dumpster diving, Ruben–you’d make Ed Wade or Omar Minaya proud.

Great move for 2010. We’ve got a 1 or 2 year window to win another WFC, and Polanco helps by balancing the lineup out. We needed another guy who can work an AB and make contact, and he’ll do that wonderfully in the 2-hole for us.

Sure that third year might suck, but I’ll take overpaying him as a utility guy, rather than losing out on him now.

Id have done it for 2 years and not 3 but maybe Polanco’s agent forced it to 3. I like the signing other than that. Higher average, minimal strikeouts, gold glove. What’s not to like? These people complaining about power are something, how much more power do the Phillies need?

Who wants more power? I just want a guy who has played third within the last 4 years maybe. Beltre may or may not offer more power (his SLG was under .400 last year, probably would rebound above that), but he is an elite defender and could probably be had for 8/9 million per.

Im talking about people on other blogs complaining that Beltre has more power. Beltre also strikes out a lot and is 3M more per year if your guess of 9M per year is correct. They got a guy to hit for average from the right side. Minimal strikeous, gold glove. The gold glove skills at 2nd aren’t going to be completely gone at 3rd.

meh, I don’t mind the signing, although I’m not happy about the length. I expected 2 years for Polanco or 4 for Beltre. Mutual option doesn’t bother me, unless the buy-out number is high.

I think people here were getting a little overexcited about Beltre. I lived in Seattle for awhile, including the year Beltre came over from the Dodgers, and he’s mostly been disappointing. He doesn’t seem to be a hard worker, hasn’t hit 100 RBI and last time he signed a big contract he had a big drop-off in production. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited about him because he’s a great fielder, and would add another power bat to the line-up, but he also strikes out a lot and doesn’t get on base that much. Power and run production is not the issue for this team.

Given we’re adding a solid contact-hitter to the lineup without losing a 1st round draft-pick, I’m happy with the deal. Hopefully Ruben will use the $ he saved here to sign a couple of arms for the bullpen. Welcome back Placido!

“Gold glove skills” doesn’t really mean anything because the way they hand those out are retarded. McClouth has won one. Utley has not. Ever. It’s voted on by the managers who just kind of throw out names of guys who have made plays against them. And moving from 2nd to 3rd requires less range, but more arm strength and more quickness. Sound like the traits of an aging 2B to you?

Oh also Beltre is a type B, not a type A, which means the Phillies would not have to give up a pick.

phylan, I’m with you. I would have been on board with Polanco if 2 things happened.

1. Ruben waited out the market some to make sure he definitely couldn’t get Figgins or Beltre
and
2. It was a 2-year deal for Polanco and nothing more.

And Juan Castro is putrid. I should have kept my career going. I’m sure I could find a way to not hit my way out of a paper bag and get paid $700K to do it.

I’m not completely on board with it, but I think it’s one of those situations where we have to let the baseball people do what they think is right.
Either they didn’t think they could get Beltre, thought the price was too high or had some other issue, like giving up draft picks for the Type A free agent that was the issue. IMO, Figgins was never an option. Too much money.

There are a lot of ways to make it look like a bad move, but you can’t argue Polanco’s .303 lifetime BA or his .761 lifetime OPS. The issue will be whether he can play third base. In spite of what some say about defense not being an issue, I think you can prevent runs with your glove that you may not drive in with your bat, and that has to be a consideration.

Whatever it is, it’s done and complaining about it is pointless.

reclinergm has some great analysis about this signing. might make you more optimistic if you don’t like this move…

http://www.reclinergm.com/what-are-the-phillies-getting-in-polanco/

“And moving from 2nd to 3rd requires less range, but more arm strength and more quickness. Sound like the traits of an aging 2B to you?” No, it doesn’t sound like the traits of an aging 2B to me, but people thought the same thing about Ibanez last winter and it turned out pretty well Id say. All of the options were aging so the aging thing is a wash. Beltre at 29 would take care of the age hang up but with it, comes lots and lots of strikeouts. Feliz provided plenty of strikeouts at less per year than Beltre. Polanco is here for his offense. The defense is secondary. I don’t think you’ll get an argument on that one. His defense only needs to be good, not gold glove (at 3rd base) good. Also, waiting to see if you could get a better deal on someone else means taking whatever is left after the whole group has been picked over by the GMs with the balls to make a decision. Make the first move and pay for it or wait until you see whats left in the bargain bin? I’ll go with the Amaro method and watch another World Series with the Phillies in it for a 3rd year in a row.

We don’t know how close Polanco was to signing with Boston so if Amaro waitied he’d have to pick from the rest of the bunch. Then, next year, people would be saying he should have jumped on that Gold Glove 3rd base dude in Boston when they had the chance last winter, but Amaro was looking for a bargain and got it in DeRosa who is injured and not playing. Amaro got a better bat for almost the same price as Feliz. Admit it, he did a good job. Now he has money left for the bullpen and maybe a surprise starter. He’s doing a good job, just admit it. If he waited to sign Ibanez last winter, Chicago was hot for him and they’d have lost him to Chicago and had to take maybe Bradley. The Ibanez signing was laughed at for spending too much and jumping too soon but Ibanez was an all star this year. Most writers half way through the year acknowledged it as a brilliant move by Amaro. His method works. It’ll be proven again next season.

Has Polanco ever batted lead off?

pherris: Polanco has batted leadoff in 132 games. 571 plate appearances, .300 BA, .352 OBP 39 W, 31K.
He has hit second in 1031 games, the primary batting order spot for him. He has also batted 9th in 101 games.

FYI, he hits .309 with runners in scoring position and .316 with men on base. And he’s hitting .334 in 87 games at Citizen’s Bank Ballpark.

I didn’t mean “waiting until they all were signed” I meant “waiting until you’ve heard some figures tossed around, and until your targets know what they can get from other teams.”

I wanted Beltre, and he is a type B free agent, which means that you don’t have to give up any draft picks.
But I’m OK with Polanco. The price isn’t bad and I really don’t mind the third year. He has one of the best strikeou/plate appearance ratios in the history of the league, which will be a nice switch for the Phillies lineup. I hope he hits second.

muleman, teams that lose Type Bs receive a pick between the first and second rounds, but it’s just added to the draft order. The Phillies would not have to give up any picks to sign Beltre.

phan: Beltre is a Type B, but the Mariners offered him arbitration yesterday, so there are draft picks at stake, a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds.

phan: Thanks. Admittedly, I don’t pay much attention to that MLB contract stuff. To me, it’s not really “baseball” if you know what I mean. The article I read just said a “draft pick.” It’s bad enough we have to be so concerned over salaries.

So then, it must have been money (of course). Beltre made $13.4 mil last year and he’s looking for a multi-year deal. I read an article in the Seattle Times that is expecting him to leave town, so somebody is going to pay. The Orioles and Red Sox could use a third baseman too. I’m sure he’ll have plenty of offers.

What the Phils really need to do is get some bench help and more pitching. With the core they have, third base is a luxury item. If they’re going to spend (?) I’d rather them spend on pitching and a quality RH pinch hitter.

A pinch hitter is more important than your everyday starter at 3B? Funny team you have there. Anyway Beltre is not going to make anything like $13.4 MM / yr again and he knows that. He will know that even more after meeting with some teams, but the Phillies signed Polanco before he even did that.

Yeah muleman, Beltre is in for some sticker shock if he thinks he is getting anything close to what he had in his last contract. He was coming off an MVP season and now he is coming off some injuries. He was still the best option defensively and is a solid bat, but I don’t expect him to get a whole lot more than Polanco. Maybe 21 for three with an option? I would have done that for him. I read that he and his agent were surprised that the Phillies were so far along with the Polanco negotiations because they thought they were in play. I wonder what they were asking?

Some of the criticism above seems a little harsh. Yes, most of us wanted to see Ruben sign Beltre, but if we have learned anything about Ruben Amaro, it’s that he is a shrewd negotiator. He may one day prove to be even better than Pat Gillick. Leaking the negotiations with Polanco was intended to drop the price tag for Beltre. Scott Boras is NOT one to encourage a client ot take less money for his own good. Nice try Ruben! I like Polanco over all the other choices. I honestly never thought that Polanco would sign for only $6 million a year to play third base. I thought he could get $7-8 million a year to play second base somewhere. Ruben really stole him from the free agent market. Age will not be a problem. He’s a perfect fit for the clubhouse too. We should never have traded him; one of Ed Wade’s worst moves….

What would we have done with him though, with Utley coming up? Ugi wasn’t a bad return until he set some people on fire. Always a warning sign for your bullpen arms.

phylan, I thought that Wade traded Polanco because he was unwilling to play third base. But it seems more likely that Wade didn’t think he would be the best option for the Phils as an everyday third baseman. I hated to see him leave because he has absolutely always “played the game the right way.” He will fit right in with the teammates who remember him and the ones who will learn to love the way he plays the game.

phylan: Congratulations on completely misunderstanding my comment. It took skill to twist my words like that. You must be a defense attorney.
Finding an adequate third baseman “With the core they have” was enough. If they were going to spend $50 mil on Figgins, how were they going to get anyone else? Beltre will cost more than Polanco, and that money could be spent on pitching and the bench.
Their bench was exposed as inadequate last year with their insistence on keeping the One Trick Pony Stairs and his ilk around far too long.
And, if they’re not going to sign Eyre and Park, where do you think the pitching is going to come from? They will need more than what they have, that’s for sure. And how about the 5th starter? Once again, in the Series their starting pitching was woefully inadequate. Can they count on Hamels stepping up?
I’ll take quality pitching over a third baseman any day, and yes, it would be “quite a team” I’d have there.

I don’t understand how any of that abrogates the fact that they could’ve signed Beltre

If Buster Olney’s “sources” are correct, Beltre is seeking $10 million a year and DeRosa is seeking $9 million, both seeking 3 years with Beltre using Boras as an agent. It completely baffles me that anyone would still make an argument that the Phils should have gone after Beltre. If Boras sticks to $10 million a year for Beltre that means signing Polanco at $5.5 million leaves 4.5 to play with and sign more pitching. They aren’t playing with monopoly money and they need pitching. Yes they could have signed Beltre for 4.5 million more per year. He’s not going to make twice the differnce at 3rd base than Polanco with the glove and the bat. Somebody please make a legitimate argument that Beltre was the right move for the Phillies at 3rd base using the same numbers. Id love to hear it.

phylan: Aborgates. Wow, I think I was right, you are a lawyer.
They only have so much money to spend. It’s their self-imposed salary cap. Signing an expensive 3B like Beltre or Figgins would have precluded them from getting help elsewhere.

Assistant GM Profrock was on WIP this morning saying they still want bullpen help and another starter. They couldn’t find quality players if they spent all their money on 3B.
Seth Everett was on earlier supporting my point that 3B isn’t a priority with this lineup. Having an adequate guy over there is plenty, and the potential upgrade with Beltre or Figgins isn’t worth the extra money. They’ll use that to sign a couple of bullpen pitchers and a reclamation project starting pitcher.

Why is it that you can’t understand that? It’s simple dollars and cents (sense).

Think the Polanco signing is a good deal for the Phils. I think Reuben stuck to his “low cost high performance” mantra. So far I think he’s done a great job in the trade/FA market.

Agree with others that the pen and a possible 5th starter are higher priorities (also maybe another bench player or 2).

Polanco was definitely a better fit for the payroll and the everyday lineup. My only concern is his arm. Feliz always gave Howard a throw right at the ‘Phillies’ logo. The big guy may have to show us his improved defense with Polanco over there.

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