Hamels Isn’t the Only Potential Phillies Free Agent

Guess who else becomes a free agent following this season?

Shane Victorino.

It seems 100 percent of the attention has been on Cole Hamels, but the Phillies’ All-Star centerfielder could walk following the 2012 season, too. Victorino arrived in camp today to a red carpet, director’s chair and lights in front of his locker following last night’s appearance on Hawaii 5-0. (Photo courtesy of Jimmy Rollins.) That’s all fun and games, but here’s some of what Victorino said about his potential free agency.

“You definitely think about it, but you’ve just got to stay focused on what’s ahead of you,” he said. “It’s a big year for all of us, not just because of free agency. Getting back to where we need to be is very important. There are a lot of expectations. I don’t want to use the word disappointment, but last year ended so quick. We want to keep this team as long as we can, but there’s a certain point when all that stuff starts coming into play.”

Victorino said there haven’t been any contract negotiations yet, but he said he plans on it.

“I don’t plan on going anywhere else,” he said.

Victorino said he would “like to stay focused on the season and not worry about that kind of stuff, but you never know what’s going to happen. I never put a time frame on anything, but I just want to stay focused on playing the season out and seeing what happens. We’ll go from there. But I don’t think you should put a time frame on it. But is it going to be a distraction if you’re talking about it during the year? Yeah, I think sometimes it does.”

So, much like Hamels, Victorino said he wants to stay in Philly and has no timetable to reach an extension …


I hope we can keep the Flyin’ Hawaiian. He’s great for the team, the clubhouse, the phans, and the community.

After the 2009 season, the Phillies knew they were going to have problems signing Werth. The Phillies most tradeable players at that time were either Werth or Victorino. Trade Werth and get an established player or two. Or trade Victorino, get the same thing and free up money to sign Werth. Junior elects to kick the can down the road. Fast forward to the end of 2012, both Victorino and Hamels are free agents. Can the Phillies sign both or do they have to choose? If so, do the Phillies choose now or wait to the July 31 trading deadline? Peak value can be had for either Victorino or Werth now. But if the season starts with both Victorino and Hamels on the roster, we will all know that Junior is drawing his leg back to take a swipe at the can. Rumors had it that the Phillies inquired about AJ Burnett to try and hedge their bets if they are not able to sign Hamels. I believe the Phillies signed Juan Pierre to cover what they do with Victorino.

I heard those “rumors” about the Phils “inquiring about AJ Burnett”. A more likely scenerio: The Yankees begged the Phils to trade Blanton to them for Burnett….

Juan Pierre is a ridiculous downgrade from Shane Victorino. First of all, he’s not a CFer anymore, and he never was a very good one anyway because of his candy arm. He’s not a long term answer to anything. He may not even make the team, depending on what they need to do with middle infielder depth.
And the only reason Ruben inquired about AJ Burnett was because he knew the Yankees were going to eat a significant portion of the salary and he would be an inexpensive 4th or 5th starter. He’s never going to replace a Cole Hamels. I think they’ll sign Hamels before the season starts, and see how things break with Victorino and the young guys in the system. I think the only way they re-sign Victorino is if he takes a short term, hometown discount. They are not going to give another 32 year old position player a long term contract. If a guy in the system like Gillies or James shows some promise, they’ll let Victorino walk.

Burnett is a headcase. He is veteran enough to be able to handle the mental side of the game. Maybe Doc could help him with that. Still, he’s not a guy I would have wanted in the clubhouse….

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