The Philadelphia Inquirer says soon-to-be 34-year-old outfielder Todd Hollandsworth is seeking a major league deal, but is mulling a Phillies minor league offer. [Link]
Beerleaguer: This would be your garden variety annoying Phillies signing, where they acquire a name and nothing else. Knowing Charlie Manuel's "safety-first" propensity to go with veterans, there’s no question Hollandsworth makes the team if he accepts this contract. It would also mark the end of their free agent signing period. Hollandsworth is precisely the kind cheap measure that surfaces once the Phillies reach their threshold. Meanwhile, fans pull their hair watching second place finishes in the Wild Card.
I’ve never seen a team so fussy about their left/right matchups. It’s intolerably black and white. If a player hits from a certain side of the plate, it’s good enough for the Phillies. If a player had success at any point in his career, i.e. tagging right-handers in 2004, it’s good enough for the Phils. They don’t care whether Hollandsworth posted a pedestrian .737 OPS against right-handers last season, and a .655 in 2005.
Four years ago, this makes sense, but he’s slowing down in every facet of the game. After watching him a few times last season, “desperate” was the word that came to mind. If this happens, it’s almost as if they traded Jeff Conine in order to make room for the same player. In 224 at bats, he hit .246/.275/.427 (.707 OPS) with 7 homers in stops with Cleveland and Cincinnati.
This would be a very disappointing final step, and I hold out hope something more is coming. The final outfield spot was an area they could have truly improved, not with a one-dimensional bench player, but someone who could make a significant, daily contribution. Maybe a trade is coming, but I don’t see it. Here’s how I see it: