Representatives for free agent second baseman Tadahito Iguchi are talking with Pat Gillick and the Phillies about a return to Philadelphia, this time as a third baseman.
Iguchi had a clause in his contract allowing him to bypass arbitration and test free agency after 2007. The Phillies had asked Iguchi after the season if he would consider coming back to play third, and he declined. Now, reports say Iguchi is willing to switch positions in exchange for a multi-year deal. Because he was technically released, the team may need to go through hoops to complete this deal. (Zolecki, Lauber, Comcast among those reporting this story.)
Beerleaguer: This is a little like buying a house sight unseen. No one actually knows if Iguchi, who turned 33 today, can play third base. He played third, years ago, in Japan and hasn't been there since. However, the Phillies saw and fell in love with every other aspect of his game, as did fans. He's a nice situational hitter who takes good at bats and plays a smart brand of baseball. He would be a nice addition regardless of whether he mans third base. Against a tough left-hander, for example, they could start Iguchi at second and shift Chase Utley to first, especially when Ryan Howard is slumping. It would be ideal.