Phillies to Offer Werth Arbitration, Not Durbin
The decision on Werth hardly comes as a surprise. If he signs with another team as expected – the Phillies have had talks with Scott Boras, but he is expected to find a bigger deal elsewhere – the Phillies will receive two picks: a team’s top available pick (either a first or second-round selection based on their 2010 record) and a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds.
If the Phillies had offered Durbin arbitration and he signed elsewhere, the Phillies would have received a sandwich pick.
It makes complete sense to offer Werth arbitration because there is no downside. If Werth declines arbitration and signs elsewhere they get the picks. If Werth accepts arbitration, which is highly unlikely, they automatically get Werth to return next season on a one-year contract. (The Phillies absolutely would love that to happen.)
Why not offer Durbin arbitration? The thinking could be similar to 2008, when the Phillies did not offer Jamie Moyer arbitration. Moyer went 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA in 33 starts the year the Phillies won the World Series. He also made $7 million. Had the Phillies offered arbitration and Moyer accepted he would have been in line for a significant raise. The Phillies explained at the time they did not want to be locked into a certain salary for Moyer because they said it would prevent them from doing other things, like upgrading their bullpen.
But while they did not offer Moyer arbitration, they continued negotiating with him. He eventually signed a two-year, $13 million contract extension.
The same could happen with Durbin, who made $2.125 million this year. The Phillies are interested in bringing him back, but probably not at a significant raise. Not offering Durbin arbitration allows the Phillies to continue to negotiate with him, but with flexibility.
Teams have until midnight tomorrow to offer arbitration to their own free agents. Players offered salary arbitration have until Nov. 30 to accept.
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