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Offseason In Review: Philadelphia Phillies

Next in our Offseason In Review series, the Phillies.

Major League Signings

Notable Minor League Signings

Extensions

  • Roy Halladay, SP: three years, $60MM.  Includes $20MM vesting option for 2014.
  • Joe Blanton, SP: three years, $24MM.
  • Shane Victorino, CF: three years, $22MM.
  • Carlos Ruiz, C: three years, $8.85MM.  Includes $5MM club option for 2013 with a $500K buyout.

Trades and Claims

Notable Losses

Summary

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. had a baffling offseason.  He pulled off a huge deal for one of the game's best pitchers and signed him to a below-market extension, only to turn around and trade another ace to replenish the farm system.  Amaro gave out three other reasonable extensions to his own players, but overpaid for the majority of his free agent signings. 

The Polanco signing is a candidate for the worst of the offseason.  The Tigers were unwilling to offer arbitration to their Type A free agent second baseman, presumably because they felt the risk of a one-year deal in the $6-7MM range outweighed the prospect of two draft picks.  The three-year, $18MM commitment the Phillies gave Polanco in early December was the polar opposite of the one year, $1MM deal the Cardinals gave Felipe Lopez two months later. 

Amaro is aggressive in pursuing free agents he likes.  The approach made sense with his three-year, $24MM offer to Adrian Beltre, but there was no indication Polanco drew similar strong interest from other clubs.  Amaro also handed out two-year pacts to three marginal players who deserved one-year deals in Baez, Schneider, and Gload.

The Halladay trade was a huge win for the Phillies, especially when Doc signed for far less than his market value.  They gave up a couple of Top 100 prospects, but that's what win-now teams should do.  They also received $6MM, enough to go over slot on a big name or two in the June draft and help make up for the farm system hit.

On the same day as the Halladay deal, Amaro took off his "win-now" hat and decided to think about 2011 and beyond.  Lee was shipped to Seattle, costing the Phillies several wins in 2010 no matter how the prospects pan out.  Lee is hardly expensive at $9MM, and there is no indication Amaro shopped him around to get the best deal. 

The extensions to Blanton, Victorino, and Ruiz seem reasonable enough; Amaro netted cost savings and certainty over the next three years.  Extensions have become the Phillies Way in recent years, with few missteps.

Despite my complaints about their offseason, the Phillies are 2010 contenders.  They've got two aces even without Lee and an offense that should be among the NL's best.








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