Phillies, Contreras Close To Two-Year Deal

The Phillies and reliever Jose Contreras are close to reaching an agreement on a two-year deal worth $5MM, reports ESPNDeportes.com's Enrique Rojas. The deal also includes an option for a third year plus performance based incentives.

Contreras, 39 next month, was very good for the Phillies in 2010, pitching to a 3.34 ERA in 56.2 innings. He struck out 9.1 and walked just 2.5 batters for every nine innings pitched. Earlier this week we heard that the Phillies were "working aggressively" to re-sign him.

Tim Dierkes broke down Contreras' free agent stock back in May, saying that he could be in line for a two-year deal if his strong work as a reliever held up.


  • AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs

    Next up: Jamie Moyer.

    • $1529282

      Or they’ll pony up and give Takahashi the three years he’s chasing.

      • jkos4

        Most wins in the majors = doing something right.

      • myname_989

        Haters gonna hate.

  • myname_989

    I really like Contreras coming out of the pen. He looked good last year, and he certainly wasn’t signing for less than what Danys Baez got.

    • Dave_Gershman

      Absolutley…As long as he keep throwing that Split Finger pitch, he can pitch until he gets to the Jamie Moyer age.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/QWIZROSGH7EDAL433USDEHDPYY Ryan

      I disagree, his days as a starter are over, and he has no significant closing experience, or even set-up experience. Who gives multiple years to a middle-relief guy? Oh, yea, our Phillies….

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/CDI3OVP2WKKIUFNJONUPC3PNI4 Mack

        Actually, lots of teams do.

      • jkos4

        If it were a large dollar contract I’d agree, but the risk here is minimal and the Phillies really need more consistent relievers in the bullpen.

        • $1529282

          When was the last time you could call Jose Contreras “consistent?” The relief market is loaded with options who would’ve signed cheaper than this or are better than Contreras, or both.

          Even if you’re just looking at 2010, his second half was pretty mediocre. Plus, the very reason they need more consistent relievers is because they give contracts like this out to guys like Contreras, Baez, and Romero (though I know Romero wasn’t from Amaro Jr., just saying the Phillies in general).

          • jkos4

            Better? Perhaps. Cheaper? No. And his overall numbers were still solid last year (3.34 ERA, 1.22 WHIP). I think it’s unfair to compare him to Romero and Baez, who were both terrible for practically the entire season in 2010. Plus, it’s not like he’s being signed to be a big time stopper or anything. 7th inning guy at best, and he’ll probably end up sharing that role with another reliever. There’s also still a possibility the Phils sign another “shut down” type reliever as well. Again, 2 years, $5M, minimal risk. Solid signing.

      • myname_989

        This comment honestly makes no sense to me. They had no intention of using Jose Contreras in the rotation, so why would that effect the value of his contract? Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson will take the eighth and ninth inning roles, and Contreras was very effective in the seventh inning last year. Keeping his innings down (by keeping him in the bullpen), and using him in a consistent role will bode well for the Phils’ and Contreras. Personally, I’m happy giving a guy like him two years.

  • Brandon Woodworth

    Another multi-year contract on an ageing veteran that they will soon regret. Good thing they have the luxury of money.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/QWIZROSGH7EDAL433USDEHDPYY Ryan

      Agreed, I would have thought they learned their lesson with Danys Baez, but I guess not.

      • JohnKruksWaistline

        Danys Baez shouldn’t be the benchmark comparison for re-signing Contreras. Contreras can actually pitch.

        Edit: Which is to say the Baez signing and Baez don’t suck because Baez is old, they suck because Baez has a thing for sucking. It’s what he doesn’t suck at.

  • chaifetz10

    You can see into the future? “Contreras, 39 next month, was very good for the Phillies in 2011″ I think you mean 2010.

  • http://branchingdialogue.net/ venn177

    “Contreras, 39 next month, was very good for the Phillies in 2011, pitching to a 3.34 ERA in 56.2 innings. ”

    Not only can you see into the future, but he’s going to have the same stats in 2011 as in 2010?

    That’s historic consistency, right there.

  • http://twitter.com/tophathottap Joe Schmoe

    Solid signing. Next up, Durbin.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FAEBP5QQ2J7ZTHV36SMOXHEP3Y John Anthony

    Not a bad signing. Obviously I would prefer a one year deal but he was solid last year.

  • $1529282

    Ruben Amaro gives out more unnecessary multi-year deals than any GM in the game.

    • JohnKruksWaistline

      A terribly unfortunate fact.

    • jkos4

      Meh – in this particular case I don’t see $5M over 2 seasons as a huge risk for a reliever who has proven to be effective in Philly.

      Solid signing.

      • $1529282

        Given Contreras’ injury history and his struggles prior to 2010, it’s rather risky. Sure it’s not a ton of money, but there’s more to it than that.

        In a vacuum, no, this deal isn’t awful. But when you stack it up alongside deals like Brian Schneider, Danys Baez, Ross Gload, Joe Blanton, and Placido Polanco (too many years), it starts to add up. Greg Dobbs also got two years, Jamie Moyer, etc. There’s just no reasoning behind most of the deals the Phillies have given out. And don’t even get me started on Ryan Howard’s abomination of an extension… yikes Ruben.

        • jkos4

          100% disagree. 2 years @ $5M is not a risk. Larger contract perhaps, but not here.

          • $1529282

            Just because it’s only $2.5M per season doesn’t mean it’s not a risk. The guy’s performance has been all over the place the three seasons prior to 2010 and he’s had injuries to boot:

            August 2007: Contreras and his 6.60 ERA are moved to the bullpen.
            July 2008: Contreras is placed on the 15-Day DL with forearm tendinitis.
            August 2008: Contreras tears his Achilles tendon.
            May 2009: Contreras is optioned to Triple-A and pitches to an ERA of 5.50 from mid-June to August when he’s traded as a salary dump.
            September 2009: Contreras is sidelined two weeks with a quad injury.

            The guy is 39 years old, coming off his first solid season in a long time, and it was also the first season in which he managed to stay healthy since 2007, and that’s likely only due to the light workload in the bullpen. It’s not a huge risk, but given Jose’s history, it’s definitely not risk-free either. $2.5M is $2.5M, especially when you’ve got another $5.85M tied up in trash like Schneider, Baez, and Gload… and $20M in guys like Blanton and Ibanez.

            If we’re defining risk differently, that’s fine I suppose. It’s a small amount, but it was probably an unnecessary commitment. A vesting option could’ve gotten it done, and if not, then explore other options. Contreras is hardly an elite reliever. It’s not like he’s irreplaceable.

          • jkos4

            “If we’re defining risk differently, that’s fine I suppose.”

            Yeah, we definitely are. I’m defining it in purely financial terms because in my estimation, if worst comes the worst, it’s not an albatross of a contract that can’t be worked around if it becomes necessary to replace or supplement his workload.

        • nm344

          Out of those names you mentioned, only Baez is bad. The rest of those contracts are fine.

    • tony_mciv

      I know- Granted the Contreras deal here makes more sense, but the one that made no sense to me was the Joe Blanton extention. 3 years for 24 mil on a guy who can give you 6 innings.

      I see Joe Blanton as an upgrade over Kendrick, but I don’t think anyone saw that coming.
      2 years would have been better.
      Anyway I digress; Contreras was solid last year, and should keep it up. He deserves a nice raise.

  • wayne_gomes

    He was more than “solid” last year. He had a K per inning, very good control, solid GB rate (45%)

    He is capable of being a high-leverage reliever IMO, even though he wasn’t used in the 8th much (because of the pricey closer and arguably best setup guy in NL)

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/KIQ72B2NDLQZZY52KX77S6UD7A Alan J

    Jose may have celebrated his 39th birthday a few years ago.

    • jkos4

      One thing’s for sure though, he had a very effective year as a reliever in 2010.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ASFPX2EPKVQW6SGC26BCCYTXMA RyanB

    I would be comfortable with the signing except that 39 in Cuban years is like 62 in American years… I bet the guy’s older than Jamie Moyer

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/NKNH6IV63YG5K2UJL36AIP36UQ marc

    Could be better, could be worse. The Phillies’ organizational philosophy with relievers is a very sketchy one, and one that costs the Phillies a lot of unnecessary expenses.

    Most college starters are able to be shifted into the relief role at the big league level, especially those college pitchers who only had 1-2 above-average or plus pitches. The Phillies continue to buy relievers at market value instead of developing them internally and cost controlling them.

    The archaic belief that relievers are not a fungible commodity that are unpredictable is a bit alarming. However, this deal was not as abysmal as the Baez deal, who pitched one good season in 5 to earn a payday.

    At the end of the day, it is only 2.5 million a season for a moderately consistent reliever who the players all seem to like. That 2.5 million could be used more responsibly, as in signing Latino players and over-slot bonuses to actually build a bullpen.

  • The_Porcupine

    I’d rather see the Phils put money towards a S. Downs or B. Feuntes first. A shut down lefty to pair with Madson in the 8th. Someone who can close in a pinch (lets be honest, both Lidge and Madson miss time each year). Then move onto the complimentary parts of the pen. I like seeing Contreras come back because he can be dominating for short stints. If the Phils are going all in with their big 3 rotation and can’t sign an impact bat for the OF, beef up the bullpen.

    • myname_989

      I wouldn’t. The last lefty we were supposed to pair with Ryan Madson was JC Romero, and that didn’t turn out well. Madson is the type of guy who can get both right handed and left handed hitters out effectively with the movement on his fastball and that nasty changeup. Throwing money at a guy like Fuentes or Downs isn’t necessary when Madson is more than capable of getting lefties out. They’ll go after cheaper options like Hisanori Takahashi and Pedro Feliciano to work earlier innings, and my bet is that they’ll end up with Feliciano.

      That’s why a signing like this (Contreras) makes sense to me. When they’re healthy, and heading into 2011, they are, Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson are a deadly combination at the end of a game. That’s why adding role players like Jose Contreras, who pitched well in the seventh inning, becomes crucial. You hear all the time about how guys like knowing when they’re coming into a game.

      The perfect targets for the Phils’ bullpen right now are Chad Durbin, Joaquin Benoit, Hisanori Takahashi, and Pedro Feliciano. I wouldn’t be suprised to see them end up with three of those guys, but they’ll definitely add at least two of them. (Granted, Benoit is of my own speculation. Lol)

      • nm344

        Romero was excellent in 07 and 08.

        • myname_989

          That’s what I meant. They ended up giving him a nice raise because of how good he was. Something similar could happen with Brian Fuentes or Scott Downs, so it would make more sense to commit to guys like Pedro Feliciano.

    • jkos4

      Brian Fuentes is a shut down lefty?

  • phil33

    A lot of conversation for a guy who could be replaced easily for cheaper. Besides Lidge and Madson, Durbin is the only one who should be brought back from that bullpen from last year.

    • nm344

      I’ll take Contreras over Durbin any day.

  • mazerrackham

    Relievers are notoriously hit-or-miss. Baez is the only really awful contract of the bunch, but it’s also quite possible he’s lights out next year. It’s just the nature of the beast.

    What’s B.J. Ryan doing these days?

  • jrollpatrol08

    yea i dont think 2.5 is much of a risk on contreras. baez makes the same about (possibly..dont really feel like lookin it up but its in the vicinity) in his 2 year deal and i think we are all in agreement that we d rather have contreras and 39yrs old in a 2 year deal versus baez and his ineffectiveness….need a lefty from somewhere now…

  • jkos4

    Two years from now the Phils can decline to pick up his option.