Just thought I’d post a little recap of the offseason so far for Philadelphia.
November 6, 2009- The Phillies picked up Cliff Lee’s 9 million dollar option for 2010. The Phillies traded for Lee and Ben Francisco back in July for Carlos Carrasco, Lou Marson, Jason Knapp, and Jason Donald. Lee went on to have one of the most dominant postseason pitching performences in history, going 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA, in 40 1/3 innings pitched with a strikeout to walk ratio of 11 to 1 (33 Strikeouts, 3 Walks). Needless to say, 9 Million dollars is a steal for the Cy Young winner of 2008.
November 24, 2009- The Phillies signed a 1 Year deal with utility man Juan Castro, worth less than 1 million with a 2011 option. Castro is a career .230 hitter, with 36 career home runs. He will be replacing Eric Bruntlett on the bench. The deal pends a physical, which will be taken Early December after Catro returns from vacation.
November 25, 2009- The Phils signed a Quartet of players to minor league deals. DeWayne Wise (the guy who made the catch that saved Buehrle’s Perfect Game), Wilson Valdez (Shortstop for the Mets), Andy Tracy (Minor League 1B), and Paul Hoover (Minor League C).
December 1, 2009- The Phillies signed Catcher Brian Schneider, a long-time Phillies fan, to a 2 year 2.75 Million dollar deal. Schneider has been killing the Phils for the past decade, playing for the Expos/Nationals and Mets since his debut in 2000, and always seemed to play his best against the Phightin’. No more of that. Schneider is a lifetime .251 hitter with 59 home runs.
December 3, 2009- Utility man Juan Castro passed his physical, making his 1 year deal official.
December 3, 2009- The Phillies signed Infielder Placido Polanco to a 3 year, 18 million dollar deal. Polanco was formally Philly’s second baseman before a certain prospect named Chase Utley came around. He was traded to the Tigers in 2005, and became a free agent this season. The Phillies swooped on him when it was announced he was not offered arbitration. The deal has an option for 2013. Polanco is only the third Phillie that is secured through the 2012 season. The other two are Chase Utley and Ben Francisco.
That is the offseason so far. It looks like the Phillies will focus on pitching from here on out. The Phils have been linked to J.J. Putz, and John Smoltz among others, so keep an eye out.
Sorry I haven’t updated in a while.
Well, the Phils lost the Fall Classic to the Yankees, and so the offseason begins. Cliff Lee will play for the Phils next year, while Brett Myers will not. Those two things are the only sure things so far. So here are my predictions, and I use that term lightly, for the Phillies’ Offseason. It’s more like Suggestions actually.
Need 1) Replace Pedro Feliz
Now I have nothing against the guy, I’ll say that now. He has a great glove, but the bat needs work, and that’s the problem. Because of the lack of a bat, he’s probably our worst overall position player. We can either sign him for 5 Million in 2010, or axe him and pay him 500K.
Right now, I’m thinking to replace him at third with Chone Figgins of the Angels. Figgins is a Free Agent, unless the Angels sign him by Monday. He is not only a drastic improvement over Feliz, in offense, speed, and possibly even defense, he can play every position, except for 1B, Catcher, and Pitcher. He is one of the best utility guys in the majors. Even if we keep Feliz, I still say sign him. He would drastically improve our bench.
Figgins would not only be an offensive improvement over Feliz, but he would add even more speed to this lineup. He could probably even replace J-Roll in the 1-Hole. Of course, that would mean that either J-Roll or Victorino would have to move down to the 7 Spot, but that’s a small price to pay to add such a helpful player.
So, I say replace Pedro Feliz with Chone Figgins. It could work wonders.
Need 2) The Bench
The bench was, let’s say it, horrible this season. Matt Stairs, Greg Dobbs, Eric Bruntlett, and Miguel Cairo didn’t do all that well. Especially Matt Stairs. He’s most likely not even going to return next season. Though I do give props to Eric Bruntlett for that Triple Play. Thanks for rubbing our success into the Mets’ Face even more.
No offense to the guy, but when your best bench player is Ben Francisco, you’re in trouble. Though Ben Francisco has been a blessing in desguise for us so far. He’s done a great job, and was definitely worth the price we paid for him. Which was virtually nothing. The four prospects we gave up was for Lee, not Francisco. Francisco was just a free parting gift in my eyes. Francisco is argueably the most underrated player on this team, except for maybe Jayson Werth.
Anyways, what could we do to improve this bench?
First off, you could go after the two guys that was the main reason the Yanks beat us this year. Johnny Damon, and Hideki Matsui. Now I highly doubt we’ll get either of them, but think about it. Now Damon would probably be a definite no, because he would want a full time position, not a bench position, but Matsui could work. He can’t really play the outfield anymore (though he said he was going to work on his knees and market himself as an OF), but he’s still got a bat. He’s proved that to us in Game 6. If we manage to land Matsui, it could improve our bench immensely.
Another option to consider is Jim Thome, though I doubt he’d want to be a bench player. He wants a full time DH gig, but not many DH spots are open. If he is without a team by January, I’d say go after him. Who knows what would happen? He would be like a Matt Stairs 2.0. Except he has more Home Runs than Reggie Jackson. And he hits home runs much more often.
Will the Phillies get any of the guys I mentioned? On a scale of 1 to 10:
Yeah, I doubt we’ll get any of them. But still, the point is, we need to improve the bench drastically. Heck, Nomar is a possibility too. The Phillies have been linked to Garciaparra a lot since last Winter. Maybe this winter they’ll actually sign him. Don’t count Nomar out yet, his name has been tossed around as late as August, when teams were still trading.
I’m not good at names. But the point of this big mess of paragraphs is: Improve the Bench
Need 3) The Bullpen
This is a no-brainer. All I can really say is improve it. I really have no clue who’s on the market when it comes to the bullpen. Eyre, and Park could return next season. That’s a start. Brad Lidge needs major work. If he’s still blowing saves in April, I say give’m the Brett Myers treatment. Even though that means he’ll be gone after 2011.
I’m litterally scanning through a list of Bullpen Free Agents right now.
J.J. Putz is an option. He had an injury plagued 2009, but he could still have something in him for 2010. It’s not like the Bullpen could get worse. Oh wait….It could. Still, he’s worth a look at the least. Horacio Ramirez could be your lefty specialist is J.C. Romero is still working out some kinks.
Honestly, I’m litterally typing random names. Again, the point is to improve the bullpen.
Need 4) GIVE LEE AN EXTENSION
It speaks for itself. We need to give Lee a contract extension. If we can nail him down for a few years, it would put us (The Phillies) in near-definite playoff contention for years to come. Sure, the Phillies don’t like signing long term contracts, but this is CLIFF FRIKKIN LEE. This guy is Yankees calibar, and I say Yankees Calibar meaning that if he was on the market, the Yankees would give him a 7 Year, 190 Million Dollar Contract, or something rediculous like that. You have him for another year, extend it. Nail down Lee while you can.
Listening to everything I said, here’s our 2010 Phillies:
Moyer/Martinez (Assuming Martinez is still on the team)
Eyre (If he doesn’t retire)
Park (If he resigns)
Not sure if Condrey or Bastardo or either will be in the lineup, so I just put them in as maybes.
How does it look?
Well, It really depends on who fills those 3 Free Agent Spots I put in there.
But overall, we could definitely win the Pennant again. All depends on who fills the spots, and how they perform.
This is Smash, signing out. Can’t wait to see how the offseason turns out.