I would be remiss if I did not mention the fact that I have spent the past couple hours watching the final stages of the Presidential election play out on the television screen at my hotel. I don't want to turn this post into a political discussion, because the beautiful thing about the sport of baseball is that it allows us to forget about such things for three hours at a time. But regardless of who you voted for, or who you supported, or what your emotions were as the night played out, it is important to note that everything you are about to read played out against the back drop of an event that will shape our nation for years to come. Baseball is a reflection of our nation, and Tuesday night was an indication of what makes our nation great. In the end, everyone who wanted it had their say. I don't want to go all George Will on y'all, but keep all that in mind.
1) There is nothing new to report on the Phillies' negotiations with any of the top three priorities on their list of incumbents (Pat Burrell, Jamie Moyer, Scott Eyre). I spoke with representatives of both Jamie Moyer and Pat Burrell on Tuesday, and in both cases the situation is the same. There is a fundamental understanding that the Phillies would like both players back in the fold. That said, no actual negotiations have begun.
2) The Phillies think Burrell will at least file for free agency. Going on what I have heard and who I have spoken with, I'll take that one step further and say Burrell will at least test the free agent waters. There was some confusion on the Phillies part. They at first thought Burrell had parted ways with California-based Greg Genske of Legacy Sports and hired Philly-based Ed Hayes. But that is only partially correct. Burrell is actually retaining the services of both. Hayes labelled it tonight as a "joint partnership."
3) So what does this "joint partnership" mean for Burrell? He has said since spring training that he would like to remain in Philadelphia. And in the wake of the Phillies' World Series run and the Parade, I think that desire has only gotten stronger. Anyone who watched him in the aftermath of the World Series win and during the Parade down Broad Street knows how much playing in this city means to him. That isn't just lip service, something Hayes emphasized tonight when we spoke. That said, it is a complicated situation. I don't think anyone knows what, exactly, the market will be like for him. The conventional wisdom is that he would be a good fit for an American League team looking for a DH. But Burrell doesn't like to DH. He likes playing in the field. He has expressed that this season. There are a lot of factors in play, which is why nobody - not Hayes, not Amaro, not Burrell, not myself - can really give an accurate prediction on how this will play out.