Results tagged ‘ Chone Figgins ’
But the Phillies also are seriously interested in Placido Polanco and Adrian Beltre. Other potential candidates like Miguel Tejada could become possibilities, depending how the market develops.
DeRosa hit .250 with 23 home runs and 78 RBIs last season with the Cleveland Indians and St. Louis Cardinals. He hit .285 with 21 homers and 87 RBIs in 2008 with the Chicago Cubs. He had wrist surgery Oct. 26, but his representatives said Tuesday that DeRosa should resume baseball activities before Spring Training.
There are reasons why DeRosa would fit.
He is from the Northeast. He grew up in New Jersey and attended Penn. He has a reputation as a hard worker and good teammate, which the Phillies consider important attributes. He also is not expected to command a major salary, which is why Chone Figgins is not a realistic possibility for the Phillies. DeRosa made $5.5 million last season.
Of course, those same things can be said about Polanco. He played with the Phillies from 2002-05. He is a hard worker, good teammate and also is unlikely to command a major deal. He made $4.6 million last season. But one potential sticking point with Polanco is that he is a Type A free agent. If the Detroit Tigers offer him salary arbitration, the Phillies would forfeit their first-round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft if they sign him.
The Phillies have liked DeRosa for some time. They talked with him and Wes Helms about joining the Phillies before the 2007 season, but ultimately signed Helms. They also tried to trade for DeRosa last winter. The deal ultimately fell through, and the Phillies signed Raul Ibanez to play left field.
Let’s catch up with where the Phillies stand as teams can sign free agents beginning Friday.
First, some important dates to know:
- The Phillies have until Dec. 1 to offer salary arbitration to their own free agents.
- Free agents offered arbitration have until Dec. 7 to accept.
- The Phillies have until Dec. 12 to tender contracts to their remaining unsigned players.
Everybody knows the Phillies are looking for a new third baseman. They would love Chone Figgins, but they are not expected to be in the running because he is seeking a reported five-year, $50 million deal. The Phillies already have $106.75 million committed to just 12 players next season, which does not include significant raises to salary arbitration eligible players Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton and Carlos Ruiz, plus upgrades to the bullpen and bench. The Phillies are going to look for a shorter, more affordable contract to fill their void at third. More likely targets are Placido Polanco, Adrian Beltre and Mark DeRosa. The Phillies have had interest in Miguel Tejada in the past, but he also might command too big a contract.
The Phillies reportedly have expressed interest in right-hander Fernando Rodney, but if he can close elsewhere, I imagine that is where he would go.
The Phillies have nine free agents: catcher Paul Bako, infielder Miguel Cairo, left-hander Scott Eyre, third baseman Pedro Feliz, right-hander Pedro Martinez, right-hander Brett Myers, right-hander Chan Ho Park, outfielder Matt Stairs and left-hander Jack Taschner.
Park and Eyre, who are Type B free agents, seem to be the most likely players to return. Ruben Amaro Jr. said he has contacted Park’s agent about bringing him back. Eyre, who had elbow surgery last Monday, said he will play for the Phillies or retire. If he decides to play, the Phillies seem interested. He is 5-1 with a 1.62 ERA in 61 games since he joined the Phillies in Aug. 2008.
The Phillies have told Myers that he will not be back. If Stairs returns, it would on a Minor League deal.
If Feliz returns it means the Phillies’ plans to upgrade at third base did not go as intended. Amaro said last week that he has told Martinez that they have not closed the door on his return, but are focusing their attention elsewhere. It seems unlikely Martinez will be back.
Amaro hasn’t ruled out Bako’s return, but he also said finding a backup catcher is a priority, which indicates they will be looking elsewhere. Taschner is expected to sign elsewhere. It is difficult to picture the Phillies signing Cairo to anything other than a Minor League deal.
The Phillies have seven players eligible for salary arbitration: Blanton, infielder Eric Bruntlett, right-hander Clay Condrey, right-hander Chad Durbin, Ruiz, Victorino and right-hander Tyler Walker. The Phillies are expected to tender contracts to Blanton, Ruiz and Victorino. Durbin is a good bet, depending on how the Phillies rebuild their bullpen. The futures for Bruntlett, Condrey and Walker seem less certain.
The Phillies are going to explore other options at third base.
They announced tonight they have declined Pedro Feliz‘s $5.5 million club option for 2010. They will pay his $500,000 buyout instead.
“This doesn’t preclude us from bringing Pedro back next season,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement. “While this allows us to explore other opportunities, we will continue to keep the lines of communication open with Pedro and his representative.”
There are some intriguing names available at third base. Chone Figgins would be the best third baseman available on the free-agent market. Adrian Beltre and Mark DeRosa are interesting names. Former Phillies infielder Placido Polanco is expected to become a free agent. He has played second base since he joined the Detroit Tigers in 2005, but has played third in the past.
The Phillies are expected to bring back their remaining seven everyday players – catcher Carlos Ruiz, first baseman Ryan Howard, second baseman Chase Utley, shortstop Jimmy Rollins, leftfielder Raul Ibanez, centerfielder Shane Victorino and rightfielder Jayson Werth – which means this could be the Phillies’ only opportunity to upgrade their lineup. They have plenty of power, so maybe they look toward finding a quality top-of-the-order hitter. Figgins or Polanco would fit that bill. Figgins hit .298 with 114 runs scored, a .395 on-base percentage and 42 stolen bases this season for the Los Angeles Angels. Polanco hit .285 with a .331 on-base percentage and 82 runs scored.
Like Amaro said, the Phillies still could re-sign Feliz if they don’t find a suitable alternative. But there is some risk. Feliz could ask for more than the $5.5 million he would have received had the Phillies simply picked up the option. Or he could sign elsewhere. The Phillies are willing to take that risk.
You’re probably still bummed, but if the Phillies are going to become the first National League team to play in three consecutive World Series since the 1942-44 St. Louis Cardinals they are going to have to have a good offseason. So let’s take a look at what’s ahead in the coming months.
The Phillies, who have the salaries of Adam Eaton, Geoff Jenkins and Jim Thome finally off the books, already have $97.75 million committed to 11 players in 2010: Greg Dobbs ($1.35 million), Cole Hamels ($6.65 million), Ryan Howard ($19 million), Brad Lidge ($11.5 million), Ryan Madson ($4.5 million), Jamie Moyer ($8.75 million), Jimmy Rollins ($8.5 million), J.C. Romero ($4 million), Chase Utley ($15 million), Jayson Werth ($7 million) and Raul Ibanez ($11.5 million).
The Phillies have nine potential free agents:
- Paul Bako
- Miguel Cairo
- Scott Eyre - Type B free agent
- Pedro Feliz (pending $5.5 million club option)
- Cliff Lee (pending $9 million club option) - Type A free agent
- Pedro Martinez
- Brett Myers
- Chan Ho Park - Type B free agent
- Matt Stairs
They have seven players eligible for salary arbitration:
- Joe Blanton
- Eric Bruntlett
- Clay Condrey
- Chad Durbin
- Carlos Ruiz
- Shane Victorino
- Tyler Walker
Let’s look today at the two players with club options: Lee and Feliz.
We know the Phillies will pick up Lee’s option, which pushes the payroll to 12 players at $106.75 million. Asked last night if he would like to talk about a long-term deal with the Phillies in the off-season, Lee said, “I haven’t really thought about it. It’s not up to me. It’s up to … yeah, I’d like to, but I can’t force anything. That’s out of my control.” I’m guessing both sides will talk about an extension, but I also believe Lee is going to be very interested in testing the free-agent market after the 2010 season. If he pitches like he pitched the past two seasons, he is line for a major payday. I think a deal might be tough to reach, but I thought the same thing about Howard last offseason.
Do the Phillies pick up Feliz’s option? They could, but if they don’t there are options. Chone Figgins easily is the top free-agent third baseman on the market. Adrian Beltre, Juan Uribe, Mark DeRosa, Melvin Mora, Troy Glaus, Hank Blalock and Joe Crede also are out there. How good would Figgins be in this lineup? Fantastic. He hits, gets on base, runs and plays good defense. He sure would look good hitting between Rollins and Utley. Another name is Placido Polanco. He also would look good hitting between Rollins and Utley. He has played third before. In fact, he played there for the Phillies. But is he more comfortable at second base, where he has been since he joined the Tigers? He has not played third since 2005, so would the Phillies even think he can still play there?