The free agent third baseman hit .253/.290/.418 with 20 home runs last season with San Francisco. The 32-year-old figures to take over the lion's share of starts at third base.
Beerleaguer: Here it is, the one we've been waiting for. Feliz is a Phillie, at a price that is sure to put the cherry on top of a wondrous shopping season.
Feliz is a bottom-rung everyday third baseman with a good glove, but misleading offensive production because he'll connect for 20 home runs a season and spend the rest of the time flailing away. Some people will like this; they'll dig the glove and occasional power. Some will see another black hole at the bottom of the lineup who's going to be given way too many starts at the position. His career on-base percentage is exactly the same as Rod Barajas: .288. This deal feels nauseatingly similar.
Let's agree on a few points, both positive and negative. First, the negative. You'll never see him take a walk. Abraham Nunez is more gifted at turning a lineup over. His OPS+ has been terrible for three straight seasons. He can't run. He has 12 career stolen bases. He's an even worse hitter against right-handed pitching, which he'll face two-thirds of the time. Finally, the cost, which has yet to be officially revealed, but is said to be guaranteed, might have been better served going toward an extra reliever - even if it meant overpaying for one.
The positives: The Phillies won't need to cart around an entire taxi squad to cover third base. Feliz is the guy you want on the field with the game on the line and the Phillies protecting a lead in the 9th inning. It makes Wes Helms expendable, I suppose, so I guess they can swap him for a mediocre prospect, or dump the salary on someone, as is the custom. If you think Helms can be traded for quality, think again. Feliz is relatively versatile. He can play the outfield, first base, etc. So in other words, the benefits are entirely of a defensive bent.
Meanwhile, we'll wait and see what the official damage is, weigh the pros and cons, see how they clear room on the 40-man roster and determine whether this fussy, late-January deal gets them any closer to something or other.
5:30 Update: Deal is not yet official. For what it's worth, Ken Mandel's report is up on the Phillies' Web site, so I'm feeling confident my Photoshop work above will not be wasted. The team may be waiting on the results of Feliz's physical, and could also be working on a creative way to clear roster space.
Feliz factoid: Feliz saw fewer pitches per AB last season than everyone in the NL except Johnny Estrada. (courtesy of Clout).
8:30 - Reported contract particulars: ESPN is reporting Feliz will earn $8.5 million from the contract, citing the AP. With the option and performance bonuses, the contract could earn him $15 million over three years.
Beerleaguer final take: Just your token, impulsive, late-winter reach. Two years is too many, and unnecessary. The strange part is I honestly don't know whether Feliz, at $4.25 million, improves the club over what they already had. A slight improvement, maybe? He's like the electric shaver hanging on the rack by the checkout line. You're getting impatient and it looks better with every passing minute. It might be useful, you reason, but is it worth it? Will it give you a better shave than the non-electric disposable in your medicine cabinet? Too late. The checkout girl already beeped you through.
"That'll be $8.5 million. Debit or credit?"