Take A Break

Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock negotiatied the contract extensions for Joe Blanton, Shane Victorino and Carlos Ruiz. He also negotiated the contract for Chad Durbin, who avoided salary arbitration.

Proefrock might not be as busy next January.

Ben Francisco and Greg Dobbs will be eligible for salary arbitration after the season. Kyle Kendrick and Scott Mathieson also could be eligible for arbitration, if they qualify as “Super Two” players.

A “Super Two” has less than three years of big-league service time, but more than two. He basically must rank in the top 17 percent in total service amongst players with more than two, but less than three years of service time … with at least 86 days of service accumulated during the immediately preceding season.

Complicated? Yeah, but don’t sweat it. I’ll try to let you know when it matters. Right now it really doesn’t.

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Charlie Manuel held a news conference earlier this afternoon and confirmed that Jose Contreras will be in the bullpen. The Phillies haven’t announced it because Contreras hasn’t taken his physical. Manuel said they will start him in Spring Training to build up his arm strength, but put him in the pen when the season starts.

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Details on Ruiz’s contract:

He will make $1.9 million this season, $2.75 million in 2011 and $3.7 million in 2012. The club has a $500,000 buyout on its 2013 option, or they will pay him $5 million. Ruiz also receives $100,000 performance bonuses for 120, 130 and 140 games started. Any of those bonuses reached in any year will be added to his 2013 salary.

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14 Comments

OK, so while we’re taking a well-advised break, here’s a little something I looked up in my spare time:

What?s in a nickname? The 1983 Phillies were called ?The Wheeze Kids? because they were a group of aging veterans, which they were, to a point. However…

The 1983 Phillies had an average age of position players of 31.9 years ? the oldest in franchise history. Their pitchers averaged 30.3 (12th oldest).

The 2009 Phillies? position players average age was barely younger than the ?83 players at 31.3 years (3rd oldest) and their pitchers averaged almost a full year older than the ?83 squad at 31.2 (4th oldest ever). One could logically assume that the 2010 Phils will field the oldest set of position players in the team’s history, with each of them being a year older and all. :)

In the modern era, the 1960, ?61 and ?72 teams had the youngest position players, at around age 26. The 1962, ?69 and the ?Whiz Kids? of 1950 had the youngest pitching staffs, also around the age of 26. The ?Whiz Kids?? average age for position players was 26.5 years.

As Whitey used to say, ?You could look it up.?
http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/PHI/

The Wheeze kids were named not because of the averge age, but because with players like Morgan, Rose and Perez, who had already played entire careers before coming to the Phillies they apeared to be a branch of the Red’s retirement program. We could definately have made such a comment about last year’s pitching staff with Moyer, Pedro, Eyre, etc.

Very happy to hear that Charlie is planning on using his bench this year!! Part of the way to have a good bench is to use them regularly so they aren’t cold. A good part of Dobb’s problem’s last year was the lack of playing time he got. Hopefully this year he’ll get a decent amount of time starting at 3B and his bat will respond accordingly. Also nice to see that Charlie has learned from Park that starting your long reliever in the spring is best for everyone as it stretches out the arm.

Are we all ready for our third straight division title?

Ah, f-i-j if they win the division in 2010, it will be the Phillies fourth straight division title.

f.i.j.: I’m well aware of the names on the ’83 team, but thanks for pointing out the obvious. Maybe that’s what “group of aging veterans” meant?

So, you don’t find it interesting that they will field the oldest set of position players in the team’s long history and have signed most of them to extentions? Polanco will turn 34 in June, which won’t help the average.

muleman, it is rare in these days of free agency that your entire corps of starting players are at least in their prime. There are no question marks in their starting lineup and I consider that a good thing. Players like Utley, Howard, Werth, Rollins, Ruiz and Victorino are not aging vets; they are in their prime. Polanco and Ibanez should still contribute mightily and they finally have some servicable depth on the bench. The veteran aspect of this team is why they are favorites to repeat as NL Champs and challenge for another WS title.
I recall the ‘Wheeze Kids’ played in a World Series as well so it can’t be a bad thing to have a veteran makeup.

I would hope that we could keep Werth, I liked the kid when he first started playing for the us, didn’t he have like 7 hits in a row that year or something? Of course I hoped they could have had both lee and Halladay too

Thanks, muleman, I enjoyed your spare time analysis. Interesting. I suppose Moyer can almost single-handedly claim the accolades for bumping up the 2009 pitchers average age by a year…and helping set up the Phillies Fall Classic entrance to Gotham City by playing Robin to Martinez’ Batman. They were very good as the Dynamic Duo for a while there…personally, I love the character that aging brings to a talented clubhouse.

F-i-J: Good on ya for “pointing out the obvious”. While some may be offended at such, it never hurts to flesh out a thought for the sake of all who read the remarks and insightful pearls offered here.

Looking forward to another outstanding season of Phillies baseball and all of the colorful analysis and tidbits discussed here on Zo’s blog by our diverse collection of fans of the sport that is America’s Favorite Pasttime! 36 more days and counting…PHL vs. NYY.

Mule: For better or worse, players are breaking into the majors at later ages these days then in the past. Part of it has to do with FA and arbitratin and trying to save money, part has to do with the agerage lifespan increasing and part of it has nothing to do with anything. Fact is, there are more players over 35 today then ever before (or so it seems) and they are performing just fine, for the most part. Moyer pitched quite well in 2008 at the age of 44 or 45. Eyre was a great part of the Pen last year at nearly 40. Age isnt what it used to be. Look at the Pennants and not at the birth cirtificates

Mule: For better or worse, players are breaking into the majors at later ages these days then in the past. Part of it has to do with FA and arbitratin and trying to save money, part has to do with the agerage lifespan increasing and part of it has nothing to do with anything. Fact is, there are more players over 35 today then ever before (or so it seems) and they are performing just fine, for the most part. Moyer pitched quite well in 2008 at the age of 44 or 45. Eyre was a great part of the Pen last year at nearly 40. Age isnt what it used to be. Look at the Pennants and not at the birth cirtificates

sorry for the double post

Maybe there are more players over 35 because there are more teams. Once there was 16 teams, now there is 30 teams. At the same time, maybe the talent pool has not increased as the same rate as the population. But, assuming it has, there is now increased competition from other sports for individuals who have multi-sport ability. My vote goes to the hanger-ons. Why retire when there is some fool team out there willing to pay a paltry million or two to hang on for another year?

This made me chuckle a bit……even the Yankees are putting themselves on a budget for the 2010 season. Seems they’re not resigning Damon and have signed Randy Winn instead. Here’s a link to the article I saw http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/28/sports/baseball/28yankees.html?ref=sports

Now back to the discussion of our “aging” Fightins’. Bill Conlin had an interesting column yesterday in regards to that. He was focusing on Donovan McNabb since he will turn 34 this year and that’s getting up there for football players. In the article he sited several HOF players in several sports who did quite well in the mid 30′s. I think we can all agree that the core of this team is certainly in its prime and that’s why its comforting to know most of the players are signed for the next couple of years. http://www.philly.com/dailynews/columnists/bill_conlin/20100127_Bill_Conlin__Putting_McNabb_s_age_in_perspective.html

Why would Cotreras be “stretched out” in Spring Training if the Phils weren’t considering him as a 5th starter to fill in for Jamie in case he isn’t ready to pitch by the first week of the season? Relief pitchers don’t have to be “stretched out”. I was assuming that Kyle Kendrick had the inside track for that job, but after hearing what the plan for Contreras was…………

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