Beerleaguer: Exciting time to sit and observe and do no real reporting; Jim Salisbury and John Finger are at the Winter Meetings and broke news today that special adviser Pat Gillick, in Pat Gillick style, personally met with Aramis Ramirez a month ago in the Dominican Republic. The free agent third baseman appears to be the Phillies' contingency plan in case the Phils can't retain Philadelphia's longest-tenured player.
Tomorrow is shaping up to be a major turning point in free agency, marking the day free agents must accept or decline arbitration. That's huge for the Phils since Ryan Madson could actually decide to accept the Phils' offer and test free agency next winter. The closer market is drying up, with a handful of teams, including the Blue Jays today, filling their ninth-inning vacancies.
Once the Phils are clear of their pending commitments - no small potatoes in Madson's case - they could become more competitive in their offer to Rollins. Just a thought. Right now, it seems to be a two-horse race between the Brewers and Phillies and the team that offers him five years will win.