The Phillies and free agent reliever Tom Gordon reached a preliminary agreement on three-year, $18-million contract Thursday night.
The 38-year-old right-hander was 5-4 with a 2.57 ERA and two saves for the Yankees, serving as setup man for closer Mariano Rivera. According to Jayson Stark of ESPN, GM Pat Gillick and the Phillies settled on this deal by offering a guaranteed third year, a deal that will allow Gordon to return to the closer role.
Gordon's best season as a closer came in 1998 with Boston, when he had 46 saves in 73 games. The last time he had 20 or more saves was in 2001.
The deal is pending on a physical, which is likely to happen Saturday, according to the AP.
The most important issue it seems is fatigue and age.
The Yankees weren't afraid of burdening Flash with a heavy load, logging 80.2 innings last season and 89.2 innings the season before. In 2004, he was gassed, but last season, he worked a little less and didn't seem as drained by October. Comparatively, Wagner logged 77.2 innings.
Contractually, I'm not especially bothered by the price, or the length. I should be, but I'm not. He also hasn't been a closer in a while, and he'll almost be 41 by the end of the contract, but somehow, I'm indifferent. I was more intrigued by the other signing of the day.
For that, keep reading the post below. For now, I'm resigned to the fact that Flash is the closer, and the Phillies haven't put themselves in better shape by developing this position internally.