The New Guy
I came away from yesterday’s news conference thinking Jonathan Papelbon is going to be an entertaining man to cover over the next four seasons.
Assuming he pitches like he pitched in Boston, of course.
So, what’s next?
Well, Ruben Amaro Jr. said they still want to bring back Jimmy Rollins. Rollins declined to address his free agency at his charity event last night, but Phillies president David Montgomery said a couple things following Papelbon’s press conference at Citizens Bank Park:
– “So far the discussions with Jimmy have been inconclusive.”
– “The toughest thing is to almost imagine our club without Jimmy Rollins.”
Montgomery and Rollins have a strong relationship, which could help Rollins in the end. There’s also this question: If not Rollins, who? Freddy Galvis? If the Phillies can’t reach an agreement with Rollins they will have to find somebody to help boost the offense.
The Phillies have $120 million committed to 11 players next season, not including any of their salary arbitration players: Cole Hamels ($9.5 million last season), Hunter Pence ($6.9 million), Kyle Kendrick ($2.45 million), Ben Francisco ($1.175 million) and Wilson Valdez ($560,000). You know Hamels and Pence are going to get sizable raises. The Phillies seem to need Kendrick, considering Joe Blanton‘s elbow could be a problem at any moment and they have little depth behind him. That boosts their payroll to roughly $140 million or so, so they have some flexibility as Amaro said.
But how much? Can they get both Cuddyer and Rollins? Cuddyer wants a three-year deal, and certainly will be looking for more than $10 million per season. If the Phillies are looking to get younger, signing both Rollins and Cuddyer seems to go against that philosophy a bit, doesn’t it?
How many years would you be willing to give Rollins, who has said he wants a five-year deal?