FoxSports' baseball writer Jon Morosi (via Twitter) has learned the Phillies are interested in bringing back free agent lefty Scott Eyre, but only on a minor pact. Eyre, 37, is as said to be drawing interest from the Yankees.
Beerleaguer: We should assume the Phillies are right up against or have exceeded their spending cap; team president Dave Montgomery said as much in a radio interview following the Halladay press conference. I also tend to believe Ruben Amaro when he says he didn't feel comfortable the Phillies would reach the finish line on an extension with Cliff Lee, with the biggest hurdle a matter of years, not dollars. The 2010 offseason will be Lee's one shot at a major payout, and the Phillies never like to go beyond three guaranteed years for pitching. Lee is well within his rights to demand five. The Phillies wouldn't go there.
Turning to the bullpen, here are their choices as far as we know: Scott Eyre, Mike MacDougal, Fernando Rodney, John Smoltz. The chances of resigning Chan Ho Park sound slim. Truthfully, if the Phillies are completely strapped, I'd settle for the cheapest options on this list and lose no sleep over it. MacDougal, who will turn 33 in 2010 and saved 20 games last season, albeit with brutal peripherals, isn't a bad alternative to Rodney, who also lacks control. Bullpen is such a crapshoot, and if he's half the cost, why not roll the dice? According to Jayson Stark, they're serious about it, and his 70-career saves have to be the biggest reason. They're really seeking a safety net for Brad Lidge. Even with his walks, who would you rather have pitching the 9th inning right now, MacDougal or Ryan Madson, knowing Madson's track record in save situations?
As for Eyre, who worked a good 30 innings last year, a minor league offer suggests there isn't much left on that arm. There's also a question of whether it's going to be worth carrying a second lefty who will be used so sparingly. I also think they're intrigued by the young, live arm of Antonio Bastardo.