Free agent left hander Scott Eyre signed a $2 million deal to stay in Philly that includes performance bonuses. The 36-year-old veteran of 575 career appearances went 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA in 19 appearances (14.1 innings) after coming to the Phils from the Cubs.
Beerleaguer: Considering the age and nature of the loogy beast, there’s no good way to accurately predict how Eyre, who’s a better version of Aaron Fultz, will pitch in 2009. I’ll guess he won’t match what he did for the 2008 champs, but that’s what the crystal ball sees for basically the entire 'pen. The good news is that he’ll probably pitch so infrequently, and in mostly low-leverage frames, that it won’t matter. He actually didn’t pitch all that much in ’08 due to injury and his only bad regular-season stretch came in three consecutive games between Jun. 19 and July 31. Cut loose by the Cubs as more of a roster casualty than anything else, he proved to be a very important addition coming right at a time when the Phils’ bullpen was starting to leak oil. His $2 million is $1.8M less than he made last season, but deserving since he’s definitely fallen into more of a mop-up role. The value is in having a reliable second lefty Charlie Manuel can trust, right out of the chute, in the occasional big spot.
In other news, the Phillies announced Monday that Jimy Williams will not return as bench coach next season. An unexpected departure, according to Phillies.com, Williams, 65, will meet with Charlie Manuel again in the next few days. According to Manuel, Williams’ announcement came on good terms.
Beerleaguer: It’s certainly a blow to lose over 30 years of coaching and managing experience from the dugout of a championship team. Williams made a noticeable tactical difference over Manuel’s early days, even if the improvement transformed a poor decision maker into merely a fair one. Williams also coached hitting to the pitchers and made a noticeable difference in that department as well.