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« Readers express concern over potential Polly signing | Main | Phillies sign INF Polanco to 3-year, $18 million deal »

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Comments

awh: "First of all, we're talking about Polanco, a guy who has ACTUALLY PLAYED 3B in the past, not some guy they're going to take a flyer on and see if it works out."

Really, played 3rd? The guy has played 43 games at 3rd since 2002. Surely the sample size on him defensively at 3rd can't be used, right?

For the record, if we sign him to play everyday 3rd base, I hate the move.

I think that's too many years, too many dollars. Is that just me?

Great. What the hell am I supposed to write about for the next four months?

He's playing 3rd obviously. He's not being paid more than Feliz made to be a utility man.

Wow. I like Polanco, I think he can play a solid third and I think his bat fits well/provides something different in this lineup. But three years, 18 million? This smacks of overpaying early for Raul instead of letting the market settle down. He might be the man they really want, but I wonder how happy we'll be paying him six mil in 2012.

Love it for 2010. Hate it in 2012.

This is the kind of hitter I was hoping we'd add to the lineup. I'm concerned about the defense and his age, but our lineup needed another guy who can work an AB.

Listening to 610 and they are always discussing how bad Corbin Bersen played 3rd in the movie "Major League". Signing Polanco who is 34 years old to a 3 year deal to play 3rd base when he hasn't played that position for more than 15 games in a season since 2002 when he was 27 years old! I hope by the time Polanco is done with us, he isn't fielding grounders like Dorn in that movie.

I think that's too many years, too many dollars. Is that just me?

no, it's not.

R.Billingsly: I think that's too many years, too many dollars. Is that just me?

No, I agree with you. i like Polanco a lot. I like that he hits for average, which this team desperately needs. But he's 34 and on the decline. he hasn't played 3rd base in years. I was ok with the idea when I thought we'd get him at a 2 year bargain. 6 mil a year for 3 years seems like no bargain to me.

Alex: I know he will be everyday at 3rd. But just saying that because he hasn't done that since 2002.

I got all excited that he won a Gold Glove last year and so instinctively I thought my biggest fear about losing Pedro (that no one would be as solid as him defensively at 3rd) had been allayed.

Of course, then I remembered that Polanco would be playing a DIFFERENT position here than he had in Detroit... Oy vey...

not sure about the 3rd year, but by then, he might actually be a "utility" player.

Disgusting. Truly disgusting.

when you have a chance to sign a 3-year/$18M deal with middle infielder on the wrong side of 30 who's coming of an 88 OPS+ season, I guess you just have to jump at that opportunity.

Agreed on too many years,$. He's at an age which is on the downside of his career. I prefer Beltre, even with the loss of a draft pick. We want to continue to win in the present. How does a draft pick help?
On the bright side, it's not DeRosa.

It's not too many years when you consider how far off the Phillies' best third base prospect is from arriving in Philadelphia. And the name of that prospect is ... uh ... help me out.

ozark: You know what, you are dead on. At least it isn't DeRosa. Maybe if I keep repeating that, it will make me feel a little better.

I also love the decisiveness here. Amaro doesn't fiddle around.

Polanco came up as a utility player and did play some 3B. The only concern is his arm; presumably the Phils' scouts have figured out if he has enough of an arm still.
I remember him looking very good at 3B back in the David Bell days. Of course that's only my opinion.
The Phils didn't trade PP because they thought he couldn't play 3B, that's just some revisionist thinking. They had Bell signed for another 1.5 years and they were very tight in those days and the thought of eating sunk costs was not Ed Wade's style. Plus Bell was coming off his only good year (107 OPS+) the prior year. I'm not saying that was good reasoning, but it was somewhat defensible (although I hated it at the time).
3 years does seem like 1 too many, but if Figgins and Beltre get 5 year contracts for higher per year salaries, then this won't look too bad.

JW, it's too many years if you think Polanco, at age 34, isn't getting any better.

JW - I look at it like this: We now have more than enough time to lure CJ Henry back from Kansas.

Zo says the deal also includes a mutual option for 2013.

How does this look down the road if you lose/trade Howard, slide Utley over to 1B and Polly back to 2B?

MVP~

I'd rather have Castro and Schneider of course. But Castro is a guy they've could've gotten 2 months from now, after all of the other and more important needs were filled.

BTW. Polanco nice player, but NOT as a 3-year starter.

They overpaid, but I'm sure he'll still play 2nd base and maybe SS. That allows Castro to either pick more splinters or be a great Lehigh Valley Iron Pig.In other words, by overpaying up front, Polanco saves them from spending $$ for a REAL utility guy while getting more for bullpen. Again, we'll see

I'd prefer to wait it out and see if Beltre can be had for three years 18 million.

Amaro has been quoted in saying that there are tons of free agent 3B on the market. Why make a splash on one of the more mediocre ones and risk over paying him. I think Amaro is overplaying his hand.

Maybe what happened was that Rube has his sights set on Beltre but Boras said Beltre would accept Arb. Therefore Rube had to change his gameplan yesterday and pursue other options. Figgins was too costly, DeRosa was a no,Feliz's feelings are hurt, so he went after Polanco.

IF that is the case, then I can understand the thinking.

Feliz's feelings are hurt? I don't know about that.

Bay: That is what was written by multiple people here. After he was bought out, it was written that he wouldn't come back here even if another offer was made.

From the previous thread, with a correction:

"the more I think about Polanco, the less I like it. add in the fact that he's played all of 9 innings at third since leaving Philadelphia and it looks like a total disaster waiting to happen."

ae, I understand you're expressing an opinion, but why would you characterize it as a "disaster waiting to happen"?

Boys and Girls, when analyzing who Feliz's potential replacement is you need to keep only ONE thing in mind:

He will be replacing Feliz. Yes, Pete Happy had a good year in 2009 because of a fluky RISP BA, but he's not likely to repeat it. It's still Feliz who's going to be replaced.

ALMOST ANYONE IS GOING TO BE AN UPGRADE!

Get it?


"The Phils opted to trade Polanco i/o Bell b/c Polanco could not handle 3B on an every-day basis."

A-TRAIN, what team were you watching? At the time of the trade, Polanco had played a LOT of 3B in St. Louis before the trade as well as 323 innings with the Phils.

The reason he didn't play more 3B with the Phils? David Bell...not because he couldn't handle it.

The reason he (and not Bell) got traded? Bell's foolish contract made him untradeable, because the FO at the time refused to eat money. I'll bet my left arm that if the FO had a "do-over" the FO would eat the money, and Polly would have been in Philly at 3B the last 4 years.

You can't re-write history to suit your opinion. You'll never get away with it - at least not on this board.

We've also got Dobbs to spell him @ 3rd, while Polanco could shift to 2B / SS. Or just take a day off..

I'm pretty excited about this deal. Figgins was too expensive and I'm not convinced Beltre would have been worth it. Solid.

Written by a beat writer or some BLer oracle with exclusive insight with Feliz's agent?

"Love it for 2010. Hate it in 2012."

loctastic, not to worry.

Howard and Hamels may not be here in 2012 and the window may have closed.

This is a 2010/2011 signing.

Feliz for 1y/$5M or Polanco for 3y/$18M?

I honestly cannot see any reason why someone would pick the latter.

declining the option on Feliz was smart because it was a chance to make a significant upgrade to the Phillies lineup. Polanco isn't that.

"ALMOST ANYONE IS GOING TO BE AN UPGRADE! "

AWH, defensively as well? Doubtful.

awh, I said it's a disaster waiting to happen because it requires you to think that a 34 year old player is capable of reversing his declining numbers and repeating a career season that happened three years ago. oh, and we're moving you to a new position.

granted, "disaster" is probably too strong of a choice of words, chosen in the heat of the moment. but I think it's an awful decision.

loctastic, to that I would ass this:

In 2012 if Howard is gone Utley may be at 1B and Polanco will move to 2b for the last year of his contract.

I'm an "anyone but Feliz" guy. If Polanco's bat is fine, he can play average defense and I'd be happy.

JW: It's not too many years when you consider how far off the Phillies' best third base prospect is from arriving in Philadelphia. And the name of that prospect is ... uh ... help me out.

What about up-and-coming LF/1B prospect Anthony Hewitt? Do they still consider him a 3B?

"Written by a beat writer or some BLer oracle with exclusive insight with Feliz's agent?"

Bay, I am pretty sure it was quoted by his agent in an article last month. Can't locate it right now though, will keep searching.

AWH - I completely agree, this is a signing for the next two years. Amaro wanted the guy for and gave him a good deal to get him.

ae - I agree, kinda. I also wonder who was a legitimate upgrade. If you're not into Polanco for 3/18, would you be into Figgins for the five years and X amount of dollars he'd receive?

It seems to me that they've brought in three offseason acquisitions and only spent, what, 8.5 mil? Seems like there's some bucks left over. Harden? Lyon?

ae: "Feliz for 1y/$5M or Polanco for 3y/$18M?. I honestly cannot see any reason why someone would pick the latter."

Here's one way to look at it. Why leave anything to chance in 2011, 2012 and possibly 2013? The Phillies would be counting on a free agent or trade to occur regardless. And in jumping on Polanco now, they add a little insurance at other positions like second base.

I thought Hewitt was a center fielder now. Or is that C.J. Henry? Wait, C.J. Henry is a college point guard.

Polanco is a hot and cold hitter. During the cold times, I hope Charlie gives Dobbs some ABs vs. righties. We’re giving up a bit in defense but getting a guy who can hit behind the runner and still has better speed than Feliz. If I remember correctly, Polanco is a decent team guy as well. I’m okay with it. Not jumping up-and-down happy but he’ll do. I hope the club has a quality pitcher in their sights…

Billingsly: No. He's CF now.

if Placido Polanco was a third baseman in 2009, he would have ranked 14th (out of 17) by OPS. Feliz would still, of course, rank last.

"AWH, defensively as well? Doubtful."

tommy, do you know for A FACT that Polanco will be a downgrade defensively?

(I can't wait to hear how you answer this one)

And, Polanco is simply a better player for this team than Feliz.

hope he can handle 3rd. 3rd is not a more important position than 2nd, but it is much harder to play. The throw and reaction time are well beyond what is required at 2nd.

If he handles the position I am ok with it. Although I would have much preferred a 2 year deal with an option.

awh: No, I don't know. Because he has only played 43 games at 3rd since 2002!

Talk about all time small sample sizes. Last time he played more than 15 games at 3rd in a season was when he was here!

I loved Feliz's defense and I liked his numbers, but I could not stand watching his approach at the plate. Polanco is the anti-Feliz in that respect (and is the driving reason why I love this).

" I prefer Beltre, even with the loss of a draft pick."

FOR THE LAST TIME:

Beltre is a Type B. No draft pick would be lost. It's NOT about the draft pick.

I agree with those posters who said this may mean more Dobbs starts (which I think would benefit the lineup and Dobbs' PH effectiveness) but it would be pretty great if they could also sign Garrett Atkins for cheap and give him occasional 3B/1B starts against lefties. That would make for a great bench and give attractive options for resting all of the infielders (except for J-Roll). Probably a pipe dream, but I would love to see it.

Sometimes I feel stupid-- acting like the money the Phils spend is MINE. Yes I buy tickets/merch... small fraction of where they get their money. Yet.. if Beltre goes for 4 yr 30 mill..I'll feel cheated. go figure

JW, I'd actually feel a lot more comfortable with this move if the Phillies did have someone coming up from the minors who could play third. then it would mean that the Phillies realize that players in their mid- to late-30s actually get worse, in general, not better.

I'm not terribly optimistic about Polanco's offensive outlook for the next 3 years, for reasons I outlined in my comment on the last post. I think it's extremely likely that he's a utility bat at best in 2012, if not in 2011. second base is full of guys whose careers fell apart when they got up there in age.

awh: Considering Polanco hasn't played many games at 3B I'm going to say he is going be a slight downgrade over Feliz. Both these players are about the same age and Feliz is regarded as having one of the best gloves/arms in the league.

I don't think anyone can make an argument that Polanco will shift to 3B and give us exactly what Feliz did. Will the drop off be drastic? Probably not. A downgrade none the less though.

Polanco is an obvious upgrade at the plate, and this upgrade is greater than the possible dropoff defensively.

Bottom line: Hewitt is not (and let's be honest, never was) the 3B of the future. I assumed he would be transitioned to a new position, but not CF. That's odd to me. Figured him for more of a corners guy -- based on absolutely nothing buy my Cholly-like gut.

I sometimes think people just complain for the sake of complaining.

In short- Polanco and Beltre both would've been upgrades to the line-up for different reasons. The one advantage Polanco has is he can slide over to second and give Utley a rest at times. I like that as much as anything about this deal.

From the Previous thread:

Clout: there's Dave Cameron's article about 2b. quibble with it if you like. I'm not sure about your assertion that total chances is the best way to determine positional value. So let's just move Shane Victorino to 3rd since according to Bill James' Defensive Spectrum he should be able to handle it and then we can sign Mike Cameron instead or call up Taylor and move Werth over to CF.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/second-base-is-the-new-third-base

P

TTI: You make a good point. Polanco can and will give Utley some days off. I am just nervous about moving him to 3rd after a 7 year hiatus.

I think Rube may be getting the sense that he wouldn't be able to sign Beltre. Maybe he would rather slightly overpay now to secure Polanco, rather than wait it out and have to vastly overpay for Beltre or Derosa.

I bet there is a good chance Rube isn't thrilled with the deal, but would rather lock it up now.

Welcome back to Philly, Polly!!

Told you it would happen fast if it it was a real rumor. Not surprising.

3 years is at least 1 too many though.

One good thing about this deal is that it will mean that once a week or so they can play Polanco at 2B and Dobbs at 3B without a serious offensive or defensive dropoff. They want to get Utley a bit more rest this season, and it seemed like Dobbs suffered as a hitter because he didn't get a large number of at-bats--and it certainly would have been nice to have had the Dobbs of 2008 in the late innings of the postseason of 2009. Also, this is a good insurance policy in case Utley gets hurt, as he tends to because he gets hit by a lot of pitches. It also saves money that can be redeployed in order to get a major upgrade at the back end of the bullpen, and possibly another starter. I think that Amaro identified the team's streaky hitting tendencies at the top of the order as a major problem to address this offseason, and Polanco probably does that a lot better than the other (unimpressive) 3B options out there. Now he has the payroll flexibility to move on to other high-priority items.

Utley is an amazing fielder at 2b, why do people want to move him to 1b if/when Howard leaves? Why wouldn't we want to keep Utley and sign a good 1b rather than move Utley and sign a 2b. Seems like the latter option is much more likely to hurt the team's offense and defense.

Bay Slugga: I'm almost sure it was a Conlin article where I first read of Feliz' frustration/hurt feelings. Don't have time to research, but I'm fairly confident that's one of the sources.

I am having a hard time finding the words to explain how stupid this is. Dropping a vacuum at third to add a guy who we decided could not play third base a few years ago when we let him walk! We are signing a second baseman to play third base. A few years ago, we signed a first baseman to play third. His name was Wes Helms. How did that work out? THis is mindnumbingly stupid. Reuben Amaro has jumped the shark.

Complain just for the sake of complaining? Are you serious? We are getting rid of a terrific fielding 3B for a man who has played ZERO games at third base since 2005. ZERO. The drop off at third will be drastic.

"I'm an "anyone but Feliz" guy. If Polanco's bat is fine, he can play average defense and I'd be happy."

BedBeard, THANK YOU for being a voice of sanity among the crowd of whiners.


I don't have the time to go back and check the archive, but I'll bet a lot of the same posters complaining about this signing are the same ones who complained about signing Feliz back in 2008.

How did that work out?

Let's see how this goes too.


RobbyJ, if Beltre accepts arb (some here think "no way", I think there is a chance he might), he's working off of a base salary that is $12MM. Beltre would have been my first choice, but I think Boras has probably told suitors that Beltre's looking for 10MM+/yr for 4-5 yrs and that if he can't get that he'll accept arb to rebuild his value. He was hurt in 2009, and if he has a bounce back year he'll still only be 32 in 2011, and assuming the economy recovers, could stand to get a better contract.

As long as you have sufficient arm strength, there is little difference between 3B and 2B and Polly has shown himself capable of playing it in the past.

He should be fine. The Helms comparison is not accurate.

3 years is a bit long though and $18 million is a bit steep. We might regret this when one of the other big guns ends up signing on the cheap come February.

AWH, Your opinion seems to be the Phils kept Bell b/c of his contract. That may very well be. But the PHILLIES said Polanco couldn't handle every day 3B duties...not me.

I'm a big Phils fan since the 60's and I'm hoping this is the right move. Polanco is a good all around ball player (Larry Bowa's words, not mine). He is very versatile. He can hit 2nd or 7th. He can move runners. He doesn't strike out a lot. He can spell Chase now and then. That being said, I fear a noticeable difference when balls are hit down the 3rd base line. Does he have the quick first step? Does he have the arm strength and accuracy? Will his focus on a new position take away from his offense?

There's a lot to be concerned about when we're going for another WFC.

Is he good? Yes
Better than Pedro? Maybe
Best option? Not so sure...only if they use the money they saved to get a stud starter or great BP pitcher.

We'll see.

I like this move because if nothing else it got Jason very involved in the thread!

awh: I agree with your assessment. I think Boras told Rube that yesterday, so Rube looked into other options and went with Polanco. As I have said, my only concern with this signing besides the years is that fact that the man hasn't played 3rd since 2005 and only 43 games there since 2002.

If Beltre or Figgins end up signing a 3 year, $24 million deal with a mutual 4th year option, this deal looks very very bad.

If they both end up getting 4-5 years at close to $10 million per, then it looks a lot better. I worry that Rube is setting a high price by his desire to strike first...just like last year with Ibanez.

Clearly, Rube and his evaluators really feel that Polly is the answer at 3B and in the clubhouse (a big concern for this team).

If Polanco is the guy they really wanted, it doesn't matter if we think they overpaid. It's not our money.

I like what Polanco brings to the lineup, and will make a great 2-hole hitter. The Defensive downgrade won't be nearly as bad as some are making it out to be...Feliz was overrated at 3d.

the only thing that concerns me is the number of years for a 34 year old, but he could end up being a utility guy by 2012. Who knows?

"Feliz was overrated at 3d"

Polanco arrived in Philadelphia @ 11 AM this morning. He is here for the physical. Per John Clark from NBC 10.

Feliz was never a very tall player anyway...good riddance. ;)

ae - the difference between Polanco's LD% last year and in 2003 and 2006 is a little over 1% (19.9% last year, 21.1% and 21.2% in those years). I'm not sure if it was his age or just a down year (as in those years). It looks like he got off to a slow start before hitting .315/.351/.407 in the second half.

Sample size alert, but Polanco also crushed NL pitching during Interleague play. http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/split_stats.cgi?full=1&params=oppon|Inter-League|polanpl01|bat|AB|

Thank you A-Train. Again, the Phillies, before they were WFC, decided to trade Polanco to the Tigers for Ugueth Urbina, who sets people on fire. Why? Because they DIDN'T THINK POLANCO COULD PLAY THIRD BASE. And now, with him 5 years older, they think he can play third. I can't believe that people are cool with this. I really can't. This isn't fantasy baseball. You can't just plug a guy in at a position that he can't play and expect him to be good just because he can hit. Next year, when Polanco is kicking balls into the outfield a la Wes Helms, you'll be crying for Feliz back at third.

ChrisinVT: Exactly. I don't necessarily support "blind faith" in the F.O., but isn't their focus on a certain player a good thing? We don't know (yet) what's been going on behind the scenes, but I like that they go out and get guys they want.

If they(and He!) think he can play the position now, isn't that what matters?

Not happy with this right now, but if the other options out there end up signing for longer/higher$, then I guess its not so bad. If Beltre signs for something remotely close, then I'll be pretty disappointed.

And does this give the Angels more leverage over Figgins, assuming the Phils were one of the few teams that had money to spend on 3B.

Lets see how they back this up with other signings. If they get a midlevel bullpen guy and a flier on a high ceiling starter, this won't be too bad. If they cite this contract as tying their hands in other negotiations than I won't support this move at all.

A-Train, 1) I challenge you to source the fact that the Phillies said that, and, even if they did, 2) do you think it might be remotely possible that they were making up a lame excuse in order to try to justify a trade that many were questioning at the time? Ya think?

"who we decided could not play third base a few years ago when we let him walk"

Goodtimes, please refer to my response to ATrain. Who, exactly, "decided" that?

I seem to remember Ugeth Urbina being a decent reliever.. before he went and chopped up his buddy, or whatever the hell he did.

I didn't mind the Polanco trade then because it was for a decent player, and also we had players at 2nd and 3rd.

Of course, looking back, it didn't work out well. But I don't know how anyone would have predicted that Urbina's best pitch involved a machete.

A much better hitter (even in a down year) than Feliz and a comparable fielder for the same price? What's the problem?

The people who are saying the Phillies traded Polanco because he couldn't be third base are absolutely wrong. They traded Polanco because Bell's contract was entrenched at third base and Polanco got them the bullpen help they needed. They were going to play Bell's contract either way, and figured Urbina was more valuable than Polanco as a utility man.

"But the PHILLIES said Polanco couldn't handle every day 3B duties...not me."

I'm sorry, I need a more solid reference for this thinking other than Johnny Goodtimes. This is so counter to my memory -- please provide a link to some viable source.

Is Polanco's head actually smaller now since he stopped using the roids a few years ago?

Has anyone heard if Ruiz, Victorino, Blanton and Durbin been offered arbitration?

I like Polanco. My first choice was Beltre, my second Polanco. If you will remember both the Cardinals and Phillies clubhouses were in mourning when he was traded. He was extremely well regarded as a teammate FWIW. I am concerned about the length of the contract. Two years would have been my preference and 6 mill does seem like a lot. But other than Beltre (and Figgins but we all knew that was a longshot) I think he's the best guy for the job. Now, on to the bullpen.

MVP: I guess that's a valid concern but to me I want to wait and see how it plays out.

I think Polanco will be a step down somewhat from Feliz defensively but not a huge step down.

Offensively he is a big upgrade.

I think Beltre would've been about the same as Polanco overall for differnet reasons that I outlined.

Basically the Phillies got the same level of player, IMO, for a little bit cheaper. The third year is not ideal but I don't think it will be a crippling device for the team as he can slide into a utility role at that point if they can acquire a different guy to man 3rd base.

Polanco may not be a sexy young stud, but he'll be an upgrade offensively over Feliz, and I'm willing to bet his Gold Glove will handle third just fine. Consider this, over the last three years, his OPS+ is 103; Beltre's is 102, and Figgins clocks in at 103 (baseballreference.com). Considering that Placido will likely be cheaper than the other two options, it actually looks like Rube might have got a bargain.

The third year is a bit curious, but the cost isn't extremely high for that year, and I'm guessing the Phils will be able to use his versatility into that final year of the contract. Not flashy, but looks pretty smart to me.

...they can play Polanco at 2B and Dobbs at 3B without a serious offensive or defensive dropoff...

this is just crazy. even if I agree that it's not a serious defensive drop, it's a HUGE offensive drop from Utley to Dobbs. they're not in the same league.

Maybe I'm mistaken, but I thought Polanco wanted to play 2B, therefore was let go because he would not play 3B. It wasn't a combative situation between the FO and Polanco, but I thought the underlying theme was that Polanco did not want to play 3B, rather than he COULD NOT play 3B.

Am I remembering this incorrectly? My memory fades.

Why does this thread feel like the Ibanez thread from last year. Except this time mvp is not as happy?

Not quite the same reactions from the same people... but not quite the Cliff Lee thread either.

Personally... Ugh.

At least we got younger. By About 5 months.

Polanco also accepted arbitration that previous offseason ($4.6M) which I think surprised the Phils at the time. Seems they were ready to go with Utley and Bell.

Although he was having an awful 2005, Bell hit .291/.363/.458, 18 HR in 2004 for the Phils (an OPS+ many would now love from a thirdbasemen) and was set to make ~$4.6M (about the same as Polanco but with a commitment to future years). At the time the trade was made Utley was hitting .315/.385/.564 with 9 HR (39 starts). Polanco was not in the team's future plans, and Urbina was a solid reliever. He was the odd man out.

I like what Polanco brings to the lineup, and will make a great 2-hole hitter.

no no no no. if this move is an excuse to move Victorino down in the order, it's even worse.

Victorino/Polanco actually makes the most sense, but even the status quo is better than Rollins/Polanco.

this is just crazy. even if I agree that it's not a serious defensive drop, it's a HUGE offensive drop from Utley to Dobbs. they're not in the same league.

true but it wouldn't kill the team to do it on occasion

Other than the years and dollars, I don't have a problem with signing. I think Polanco will play an adequate 3B and will fill a need in the lineup. Putting him in the two-hole (where I think he'll end up) will be a benefit. He rarely strikes out, and if I remember correctly is a solid situational hitter -- something that I think has been lacking from the top of the order.

Mark: Dec. 12 is that deadline.

Mike Cunningham: Yea, I am just disappointed that is all. I wanted Beltre, but at least it isn't DeRosa. There is my silver lining.

ae: Do you really think the Phils will move J-Roll out of the lead-off spot and/or sign Polanco to hit 7th? Right or wrong, I just don't see it happening.

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