Moyer, Dobbs Become Free Agents; Unlikely to Return
The Phillies said today that Moyer and Dobbs, who was eligible for salary arbitration, have become unrestricted free agents. Both players could return in 2011, although it is highly unlikely. The Phillies placed both players on waivers earlier this week to expedite the process for them to become free agents, which is a pretty good sign they don’t plan to bring them back. Once they cleared waivers, each player filed for free agency.
The waiver process also allowed the Phillies to clear two spots on the 40-man roster.
Moyer, who turns 48 next month, finished the season on the disabled list with an injured elbow. He is going to pitch Winter Ball in the Dominican Republic to see if he can pitch and possibly get a contract before Spring Training.
It is unlikely the Phillies would bring back Moyer on anything other than a non-guaranteed contract.
“I don’t know if Jamie would accept anything like that, but we haven’t had any discussions about it,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “I think more than anything else there are some questions about his health. Obviously his age is a factor. But we have to consider our starting pitching depth and see whether or not bringing Jamie back is the right thing for us.”
Ben Francisco, Kyle Kendrick and Dobbs were each eligible for salary arbitration. Amaro said they have made no decisions on Francisco or Kendrick. The fact the Phillies allowed Dobbs to become a free agent so quickly also indicates he is unlikely to return.
Dobbs, who just completed the second year of a $2.5 million contract, hit a combined .284 with 19 home runs and 95 RBIs in 550 at-bats from 2007-08 as he established himself as one of the game’s top pinch-hitters. He hit a combined .221 with 10 homers and 35 RBIs in 317 at-bats the previous two seasons as his playing time dropped.
“When you’re talking about bench guys and they’re not getting to play a lot, it’s hard to evaluate,” Amaro said. “He had some success when he was getting a chance to play more. We got into a situation where he wasn’t playing a whole lot, so obviously his production dropped off. But it’s hard to stay sharp. I’ve gone through it myself as a player. You have one good year one bad year. It’s kind of the nature of the job. He could come back and have a great year for someone, and it could be us. But at this time it was pretty evident we weren’t going to be putting him through the salary arbitration process, so why not give us some space on our roster and give him an opportunity to be out there on the open market a little earlier?”
Catcher Paul Hoover also filed for free agency after the Phillies outrighted him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.