Archive: January, 2009
Pedro Feliz was in town yesterday to have Phillies physician Michael Ciccotti examine his lower back. Feliz had surgery on the back after last season.
Everything looks good so far.
"We're pleased with his progress," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He has made good progress."
There remains a chance the Phillies and Ryan Howard agree on a new contract before they hit the salary arbitration table next month.
But it seems more likely the Phillies will be arguing why Howard deserves only $14 million, while Howard will be arguing why he's worth $18 million. Why do I think they'll end up back at the arbitration table? Well, they're $4 million apart. That's quite a gap. And if Howard is asking for $18 million, he must feel pretty confident he can win $18 million from the arbiter. He had that confidence last year when he asked for $10 million. In other words, Howard isn't afraid to battle the Phillies. He isn't afraid to lose. He's willing to stick with what he believes he deserves. I don't think that changes. And his case doesn't seem to have gotten any weaker knowing he led the majors last season in home runs and RBIs. But do the Phillies have a better chance this time? You would think they learned from last year's loss, so maybe they feel they have a stronger case with their $14 million offer.
Adam Eaton's chances to make the team out of spring training?
Slim to none.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. spoke candidly today at Citizens Bank Park about the competition for the fifth spot in the team's rotation.
Jim Salisbury reports that the Phillies have some interest in Moises Alou, but a deal doesn't sound imminent.
The Phillies continue to look for a righthanded bat off their bench. They are interested in Nomar Garciaparra, but he's not sure if he wants to continue his baseball career. Alou would make sense, but Ruben Amaro Jr. acknowledged that Alou might be looking for a little more playing time than the Phillies can provide. If the recent past is any indication, this righthanded bat is going to be somebody we see only in pinch-hitting situations. Charlie Manuel likes to play his regulars as often as possible, which means little playing time for his reserves.
The Phillies also are considering free agents Mark Grudzielanek and Rich Aurilia for the reserve role. Team officials also have spoken with the representatives for free agent Kevin Millar.
The Phillies are headed toward a franchise record opening day payroll, which could be more than $132 million if Ryan Howard wins his case in salary arbitration. That's following word yesterday that Jayson Werth and Chad Durbin agreed to new contracts.
Phil Sheridan asks why we should care how much Howard makes in arbitration (or how much any athlete makes for that matter)?
Joe Blanton ($5.475 million), Clay Condrey ($650,000), Chad Durbin ($1.635 million), Adam Eaton ($8.5 million, plus a $500,000 buyout), Scott Eyre ($2 million), Cole Hamels ($4.35 million), Brad Lidge ($11.5 million), Ryan Madson ($3 million), Jamie Moyer ($6.5 million), Brett Myers ($12 million), Chan Ho Park ($2.5 million), J.C. Romero ($4 million, minus $1.25 million for his 50-game suspension ).
And then there was one.
The Inquirer has learned that the Phillies have reached an agreement with righthander Chad Durbin on a one-year, $1.635 million contract. This follows the news that rightfielder Jayson Werth has agreed to a two-year, $10 million contract with the Phillies.
That leaves Ryan Howard as the only Phillies player still eligible for salary arbitration. Howard is seeking $18 million in arbitration. The Phillies are offering $14 million. It seems more likely than not that Howard and the Phillies return to the arbitration table.
The Phillies have reached a two-year contract extension with rightfielder Jayson Werth, a source told The Inquirer.
A second source confirmed the deal is for $10 million. Werth will receive $2 million in 2009, plus a $1 million signing bonus, and $7 million in 2010. The Phillies aren't expected to announce the deal until later this week after Werth takes his physical. Werth hit .273 with 24 home runs and 67 RBIs as he played his way into an everyday role in right field. This leaves Ryan Howard and Chad Durbin as the team's only remaining salary arbitration eligible players.
Todd ZoleckiBusy day for the Phillies.
First, they exchanged salary arbitration numbers with players still eligible for arbitration. Ryan Howard has asked for $18 million, while the Phillies have offered $14 million. The Associated Press also reports that it is the third-highest figure submitted since the process began in 1974. Houston's Roger Clemens requested $22 million in 2005. New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter requested $18.5 million in 2001.
Inquirer Online Desk
Inquirer staff writer Jim Salisbury reports:
The Phillies and righthanded reliever Ryan Madson have reached agreement on a three-year contract extension, The Inquirer learned today. The deal, which is pending a physical exam, is believed to be for $12 million, with incentives.
Madson, 28, was 4-2 with a 3.05 ERA in 76 games in 2008.
It's difficult to think about baseball today after a tough Eagles loss, but we move on ...
... Cole Hamels met with reporters before kickoff yesterday to discuss his three-year, $20.5 million contract extension. Good deal for both sides. Hamels gets financial security. He also keeps his final year of salary arbitration and free agency following the 2012 season. The Phillies get cost certainty the next couple off-seasons. That's big because they'll have a clearer picture of how much they can spend in the near future.
...Ryan Madson could be next. Sources indicate the Phillies and Madson continue to talk about an extension and a deal could happen soon.