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Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Recent Deals 

Whew! Quite a couple of days for Eagles fans! Well, I think it's time to turn our attention back to the Phillies, who are just a few weeks away from starting spring training and making a run at the 2005 NL East division title. I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about the Phillies recent signings. The Phillies recently inked one-year deals with three players and signed a free agent. Here are my thoughts on each deal:

Jimmy Rollins SS 1-year, $3.85 million

Rollins will be a free agent for the 2005-2006 off-season and if the Phillies expect to re-sign him to a long-term deal in October and November, forget it. As I’ve said, Rollins might be the best shortstop in the NL right now. He’ll command a multi-year deal making $10 million or more from teams like the Cardinals and Cubs at the end of the season. Why is Rollins such a hot commodity? He’s made tremendous strides towards lowering his strikeouts and becoming a more complete lead-off hitter. Look at his season-by-season on-base percentages and runs created:

OBP / RC
2001: .323 / 96
2002: .306 / 71
2003: .320 / 76
2004: .348 / 108

At just 26, Rollins has four complete seasons under his belt, and he’ll play quite a few more. He’s the rare lead-off man with power: his .455 slugging percentage and 14 home runs are very impressive and make him a unique weapon for the team. If I were the Phillies management I’d try to sign Rollins to some sort of multi-year deal during the season when he might be willing to settle for something in the range of $6-$8 million a year. If not, I'd expect him to sign a massive, multi-year deal with the Cardinals in November.

Placido Polanco IF 1-year, $4.6 million

We all know the saga of Polanco this off-season and I won’t spill too much ink here, aside to speculate on whether the Phillies might still bring Polanco back in 2006 if they can’t re-sign Jimmy Rollins in 2005. Polanco is three years older than Rollins, but he’s still a good bat and a terrific glove. If Rollins has a great 2005 and leaves in November, as I suspect he will, Polanco might still be a Phillie next year after all.

Vicente Padilla SP 1-year, $3.2 million

I really like Vicente Padilla, but there simply isn’t any other word to describe his 2004 other than “awful”:

ERA / HR9* / Win Shares
2004: 4.53 ERA / 1.2 / 4
2003: 3.62 ERA / 0.9 / 13
2002: 3.28 ERA / 0.7 / 14
*home runs allowed her 9 innings pitched.

The move to Citizens hurt him somewhat, forcing him to serve up a few more runs than usual. I still like Padilla a lot: unlike Wolf and Milton, Padilla got more groundballs (a good 1.16 G/F ratio, although not as good as Myers, Lieber and Lidle) and improved on his strikeouts rates: 6.4 strikeouts per 9 innings, compared with 5.7 in 2003 and 5.6 in 2002. I still think he could be the Phillies ace in the future and I think he’d be worth re-signing to a multi-year deal during the season.

Jose Offerman PH Minor League deal

I had no idea that Jose Offerman was still in baseball until I read that the Phillies had signed him. Apparently Offerman is one of the top pinch hitters in baseball (thanks for the info, Berks Phillies Fans), Offerman got 172 AB’s last year with the Twins. Here’s how he did:

.363 OBP .395 SLG .140 ISO .262 GPA

Offerman hit 12 for 29 (.414) as a pinch hitter with the Twins in 2004, tops in the AL. Interestingly, Offerman was a very patient hitter at the plate: 4.07 pitches per plate appearance would have ranked him eighth in the AL, if he had enough plate appearances to qualify.

Good signings. Let's see how they play out this season.

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