Looking Ahead: Six Free Agents, Three Arbitration Eligible Players

werth playoffs.jpg

You probably still have your NLCS hangover, but I thought I’d give everybody a quick look at the Phillies’ offseason. They have six potential free agents and three players eligible for salary arbitration.

Here is a look:


– Jayson Werth. The Phillies and Werth are going to say the right things in the coming weeks. The Phillies are going to say they would love to bring back Werth, which is true. And Werth is going to say he wants to come back, which also is true. But the reality is different. The Phillies already have more than $145 million committed to 16 players in 2011, and Werth is going to be one of the top free agents on the market. Ruben Amaro Jr. has said several times the Phillies can’t have a roster full of $15 million-a-year players, which is what Werth could be making soon. Outfielder Jason Bay received a four-year, $66 million contract from the New York Mets last winter. Werth should command more. Bay hit .267 with a .362 on-base percentage and a .493 slugging percentage in the three seasons leading to free agency. Werth hit .279 with a .376 on-base percentage and a .513 slugging percentage the past three seasons. The numbers show Werth is a better hitter than Bay. He also is a better fielder and base runner. And there seems to be little doubt Scott Boras, who is Werth’s agent, will be seeking the big-time deal Werth has waited his entire career for.

– J.C. Romero. The Phillies have a $4.5 million club option on Romero, but it is unlikely to be exercised. The Phillies are expected to rely next season on Antonio Bastardo instead. And while Romero went 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA the last two seasons, he also missed time with injuries and has walked (42) more hitters than he has struck out (42).

– Jose Contreras. The Phillies would like to bring back Contreras, but he has raised his stock. He went 6-4 with a 3.34 ERA and four saves this season. The Phillies could find themselves in a situation similar to last offseason with Chan Ho Park. Park pitched well in 2009 and tried to get a bigger contract than the Phillies wanted to pay. Park ended up signing with the New York Yankees for less money than the Phillies offered, but the point here is Contreras could be a tough sign. One thing that could help the Phillies? Contreras’ relationship with Danys Baez, who is signed next season. Contreras and Baez are Cuban and best friends.

– Chad Durbin. He went 4-1 with a 3.80 ERA this season. He has been steady and reliable and the Phillies certainly could use him. But this could be Durbin’s only opportunity to land a multiyear contract as an established reliever. How much will the Phillies want to spend on Durbin? Would Durbin take less money from the Phillies to stay? “My gut says its 50-50,” Durbin said.

– Jamie Moyer. Moyer, who will turn 48 next month, is unlikely to return, unless the Phillies bring him back on a Minor League deal. He is coming off a left elbow injury that forced him to miss the final two months of the season and entire postseason. It also is fair to wonder if the relationship between Moyer and management has strained after he criticized Phillies president David Montgomery and Amaro in 2009, when the Phillies moved him into the bullpen to make room for Pedro Martinez. Regardless, I just don’t see the Phillies giving Moyer a contract based on his age and health. 

– Mike Sweeney. He was a nice clubhouse addition, but he seems unlikely to return. The Phillies like bench players with versatility. And with Ryan Howard expected to play every day at first base, Sweeney would be a pinch-hitter and little else. The Phillies saw what happened to Matt Stairs in 2009, when he got no playing time. His numbers suffered. You have to think the Phillies will be thinking of Stairs when they think about Sweeney. 


Greg Dobbs: It seems unlikely the Phillies tender Dobbs a contract. His production has dropped considerably the past two seasons, although Charlie Manuel has acknowledged numerous times that cutting Dobbs’ playing time has hurt him. But with the Phillies’ payroll already more than $145 million, I think the Phillies will look in a different direction.

Ben Francisco. He almost certainly will return. Francisco could see considerable playing time in right field next season, if the Phillies decide to stay in-house and use Francisco and perhaps rookie outfielder Domonic Brown in a platoon situation. I don’t see the Phillies letting him go, unless they sign or trade for another outfielder to replace Werth.

Kyle Kendrick. He went 11-10 with a 4.73 ERA in 33 appearances (31 starts) this season. He is due a significant raise, if offered arbitration. If the Phillies do not want to take the risk of paying Kendrick more money than they feel is appropriate, they could non-tender him and sign him back at a lesser salary. They have done similar things in the past.


The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!


Brutto54- pay closer attention to bball- kyle kendrick didn’t break his toe– that was Madson.

brutto’s responses are amusing. You obviously know little to zilch about this team. Were you paying attention at ALL this season? By the way, Howard’s SO’s were his lowest ever for a full season of play. Granted, he missed a good 20 games. He hit well in the postseason, we just didn’t get on base or score when he hit. Brad Lidge is filthy when he is on… I am not sure why you are criticizing him or calling him a drama queen. Good job confusing Kendrick with Madson.

Just thought I’d stop in for a quick troll, wanted to see how everyone was coping with it. Welp, looks like the countless posts over on Bowmans blogs raving about your players like they were all Gods did a 180 in about 6 games. One little thing before I go, for all you screaming “Bring Werth back!.” You guys should be able to see that bringing back Werth at his projected salary(the guy will make at least $13m annually) is almost mathematically impossible. Unless you guys trade Ibanez(we got Japanese team interested in Kawakami, you guy’s should be able to find one for him), or fill your bench and bullpen with minor leaguers or minor league deals, it’s not happening.

predictiopns on who the phillies do sign to fill the vacancies. Based on what you say, we have a few openings. Which free agents do we go after, which minor leaguers should we expect to see making the big league roster?

as a long-time phils fan.I believe the phils need this..say bye-bye to werth..then say goodbye to rollins,hes a has been riding on 1 season long enough..let all the free agents go..d.brown in right.bring a shortstop up from the minors.victorino leads off and teach him to take on 3-1 counts..with the money they save,go after lee..ibanez is also another over the hill guy..lots of wasted money could be used to find a hitter to follow howard

1. Is there something mentally preoccupying Chase Utley?
2. I certainly hope Ryan Howard and Charlie Manual understand that Ryan has a HUGE strikeout problem. He may have worked on defense but he continues to watch the third strike cruise by with nothing more than a rolling of his eyes and shake of his head. Ryan, you have a bat in your hands and it is used for hitting baseballs. You don’t go down looking at strike three especially when the count is full. Your team needs a lot better than what you are bringing.
3. Brad Lidge, the Phils need to lose the drama.
4. Kyle Kendrick, the Phils need to lose this fool. Broke his toe kicking a water bottle stand. That is immaturity and the Phils need a team player.
5. Jayson Werth-Keep him Ruben, it will pay huge dividends on the field and turnstiles.

@brutto- I think Utley was just not seeing the ball very well. I could be wrong, but he didn’t look very comfortable at the plate this postseason. Brad Lidge is signed for one more year, and he might give fans heart-attacks everytime he steps on the mound, he is a good closer. KK, needs to go, but it was Madson who broke his toe on a chair. And as much as I want Werth back, I really do, I just don’t see it happening. Werth wants his payday, and the Phillies aren’t going to give him what he wants. Not with Domonic Brown waiting in the wings for his chance to fly. We will need a right-handed power-bat though.

1. I have also wondered if there was something affecting Utley off field… His body language and facial expressions while caught on TV leads me to think that.
2. Ryan Howard is a power hitter. He will strike out. That is just part of his game. Don’t jump on him as a reaction to the disappointment of them losing the NLCS and he was the last out… That said.. Ryan and the rest of the team just seemed tight during the playoffs. They just seemed out of rhythm. At first I thought it was because the pitching that the Giants had. That could be the case but they weren’t lighting it up in the NLDS either.
3. Lidge looked like he was straightening things out towards the end of the season but I fear that he might revert back to “Bad Lidge” because he is good one year and bad another and next year is his “Bad” year… Maybe it is time to groom another closer. Madson seems like a good candidate but he also has his inconsistencies…
4. I would hate to lose Kyle Kendrick and he turn into a Gavin Floyd but that said… Even Gavin Floyd is slipping in stats. You are wrong though about the Broken Toe incident… That was Ryan Madson.
5. I agree that they should find a way to keep Jayson Werth. I don’t think it is likely but I’m thinking that they could save some money if they trade Ibanez to clear his salary to sign Jayson. Then you could platoon Dominic Brown and Ben Francisco out in left field. Again.. I don’t think it is likely. You could even sense it in Werth’s interviews that he is prepping himself and the fans about his inevitable departure.

– Werth is gone. I am 90 percent sure about that. He is a great slugger who also can hit for an average and has above average speed. His defense improved a lot while he was in Philly and now he is alright with the gloves as well. He’ll be severely overpaid by a team (Yankees?), we can’t match a realistic offer, and calculate with the Boras-factor too.

– We don’t need Romero, we have some good lefties in our pen who have great future ahead of them.

– Although Contreras is replaceable, I think his performance in the postseason showed that his experience is vital. We need him or a veteran like him next year in our pen.

– I think Durbin is not somebody who we actually need. We have great righties in the pen and he’s not really a clutch guy, we can’t rely on him in tough situations. I would let him go.

– Moyer will retire after the injuries suffered. He won’t be offered a major league contract by anyone.

– Sweeney can stay as a pinch hitter but he probably will leave. It doesn’t really matter.

– Dobbs will find a place where he can be an everyday player or at least can have a share of the 3B duties. he doesn’t have a chance against Polanco now, so he will be gone.

– We need Francisco as an insurance as he can play in place of every outfielders. In case we don’t keep Werth (which i think is ver likely), he may get the starting nod but I think that Brown is a much stronger candidate and keep in mind that Mayberry can push for the job too. I think that Brown is the main reason we can’t afford Werth next year.

– You can hate me now, but I would keep Kendrick in case he doesn’t cost much. He is not bad as a fifth starter, he won some games for us and that is what really matters. We won’t have a much better guy at the end of our rotation, and if we have a prospect who progresses well he can be inserted into the rotation since Kendrick is not somebody who you keep there if ther’s a chance for a youngster to showcase his abilities. Remember Eaton? I do, and I don’t want another Eaton in place of Kendrick.

All in all, our situation is not bad at all. We have the H2O, Blanton, Madson, Lidge and eight guys from our lineup locked up, and Dom Brown as well. That means that the core stays, I think that even if Werth leaves and we don’t get anybody from the market, the team will be at the very least as good as the one that won the WS. Enough said.

Oh Ruben, do whatever is you can to keep Werth. Ibanez should be the one to go. Jayson is just so great in the outfield and a great contributor to the team. I will try to follow Jayson if he does not return, but not if he becomes a Yankee.

Jimmy is quoted as saying he thinks Werth is at 50-50 to stay or leave now. I don’t know if that’s just wishful thinking from a teammate, but I hope not. Even though philly fans love to get on his case (just like everyone else’s) he put up some amazing numbers this year. Honestly, re-signing with the Phillies would be his best option. He fits well in the lineup, and the fans like him for the most part. If he signs somewhere else, there will be a lot of pressure on him to perform, especially if it’s with the Yankees, who seem to be the front runner due to his family ties with that club. Hopefully he doesn’t get the Jason Bay syndrome of 2011.

As far as Ibanez goes, I wouldn’t want to trade him either. It would be dependent on Werth’s situation. It seems like Raul is winding down, so maybe it would be good to have him take a spot on the bench and let Dom Brown do his thing. The Phillies have a lot of good options, that’s for sure.

Don’t get rid of Rollins. Who would say that? He’s a lifer.

jraner: Sure, let’s put Ibanez on the bench. Millions for a non-starter. That’ll work.

I’m so glad rajnaigergo is 90% sure Werth is gone. That’s a load off. Now we can all move on.

And it would be really sad, phillyfan69, that Kendrick turn into another 10-13 pitcher with a 4.08 ERA (Gavin Floyd). That would be horrible. isn’t that what he is already?

The worst thing for this team would be to keep doing things the same way and expecting a different outcome. What does that define?

Never had a chance to congratulate you guys on a wonderful series against the Giants.
::walks into room, gives the finger to muleman, pherrisphain, phan52, and the rest of the phags.. laughs.. takes dump in the middle of the room and leaves::

Jayson Werth needs to kept. Find the money. The Phillies have sold out how many games in a row? They’ve made it to the postseason how many years in a row? Philadelphia loves Werth. The money is there.

Trade Raul Ibanez while he’s still worth some money. He’s a good player, but we need to make room, and he’s 38 yrs old, while Werth is 31 and a better performer. Bring up Dominic Brown to replace him. We need to start getting the younger guys on the team. Francisco is a good player, too, but he doesn’t excite me all that much.

Most of the infield should stay, but as much as I hate to say it, Rollins should probably go. To quote Top Gun, his attitude is writing checks his body can’t cash, and we’ve got Valdez and Castro to take over. If we let either of those guys get away, something is seriously wrong with the Universe. Maybe we keep him through the no-waiver deadline next year, but he’s a better trade before we find out if he doesn’t come up healthy and doesn’t perform next year.

Pitching? Sadly, Jamie Moyer should retire. I love Moyer. When he’s on, his pitching is artistry, but after Halliday, Oswalt, and Hamels, we need more consistency in the rotation. Blanton can stay, I think, for now, he’s had a good year, but the rest of the rotation is iffy. Who to pick up? Dare I say Cliff Lee? Probably not, but I’ve been saying since the trade that we should have gotten both Halladay *and* Lee. Kendrick? Buh-bye. We need the room.

Bullpen? Obviously, Lidge has proven that he can still do it, and Contreras has proven that he can close it down, too. Let’s not forget his stellar performances while Lidge was still on the DL. But, we still need to beef up the bullpen to the point where there’s no queasiness no matter who takes the mound (well, we’ll just have to deal with the Lidge Shakes). Madson has been doing well, but the rest aren’t anything to get all that excited about.

The biggest problem I think the Phillies have is a mental problem with hitting, and we saw it all through this year and certainly through the postseason. With as bad as the Phillies hit in the postseason, it’s amazing that they won the NLDS 3-0 and actually won two games in the NLCS. I guess we caught the down side of the wave after an unbelievable September run.

But the postseason looked just like May and June, didn’t it? And a couple other periods during the year. All of a sudden, the hitting fell off a cliff. Bats get to the ball, but the ball goes right to a defender. Guys get on base, and don’t get brought home.

Plus, Chase Utley really needs to get with it and get focused. Way too many errors. Way too many.

Brandon: Go back to your hole. Amaro just had a press conference where he said the team has both the money and the desire to sign Werth. I can’t believe he’d say that without meaning it. Of course, it’ll boil down to money and length.

vivabeta: Never had the chance to congratulate you on being a classless jackass. Congratulations on being a classless jackass. It really hurts us all to know that you hate us.

How many of Junior’s jokes have led to the Phillies $144+ budget in 2011? How about $10 million for Ibanez, something like $8million for Blanton, another $2+ million for Baez? What do you know about $20 million? $17 million for Werth and $3million to fill the roles of these other turkeys. But, this math is just food for the Werthophiles. Myself? AMF , Jason Werth. Regardless, the Phillies are still hamstrung by Junior’s Jokes. The Phillies really do need to do a Junior Correction. This would require them to go over budget next year for $15 million to $20 million to put the Phillies in a position to return to the pre- Junior philiosophy of building the team both from within and from without. Of course, this would also require the s-h-i-t canning of Junior. Where have you gone Mike Arbuckle? Where have you gone Cliff Lee? Well, at least Junior’s bumbling has made it possible for some team to be in the WS this year. But due to Junior’s inimitable style, it is not the Phillies.

I think we should keep Jason W. He has proven himself over & over.He has one of the best arms I’ve seen.Right field to third base without touching the ground.I’m impressed.Besides that he’s a hottie!

i think the phillies were out played meaning out pitched we need a better number four starter in the rotation somebody really good like in the caliber of matt cain and ibanez is time to go find some body not no rookie i dont care what he did in triple a this is the majors look at the phillies past always letting good players go or nor signing them i wish they realize their bullpenn needs some serious help i dont like durbin he wasnt affective against the yankees last years the giants hit hm every way find somebody but good do your homework the phillies want a worldseries spend the money.sign werth he deserves it.

Hey rafael, that key at the bottom between the slash and comma is called a period. Try it. Your comment is un-readable. You also might try capitalizing once in a while. My head hurts.

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