Today is the deadline for teams to offer salary arbitration to their remaining free agents.
For the Phillies that means Jamie Moyer, Pat Burrell, Tom Gordon and Rudy Seanez.
I wrote about this yesterday, but here is what I think could happen:
The Phillies offer Moyer arbitration. In my opinion, this is a no-brainer. The Phillies want Moyer back. If he accepts arbitration by Sunday's deadline, he essentially signs a one-year contract for 2009. No club options. No player options. No vesting options. Just a one-year contract. I'm sure the Phillies gladly would take that over whatever they're currently talking about with Moyer's agent, which presumably includes at least an option for 2010. And if Moyer, 46, declines and signs elsewhere, the Phillies would receive two draft picks as compensation.
The Phillies don't offer Burrell arbitration. Here is why I think the Phillies might not: First, while the Phillies wouldn't mind having Burrell back on a one-year contract, he certainly will receive a raise from the $14 million he made in 2008. I don't think the Phillies would want to pay Burrell perhaps $16 million next season because it might preclude them from pursuing somebody like relief pitcher Juan Cruz or maybe even working out a contract extension for somebody like Ryan Madson or Jayson Werth, who can become free agents after the 2009 season. I think there is almost no chance Burrell will make more than $14 million anywhere else next season, so I think if he was offered arbitration he might accept it. So now instead of pursuing other options in left field and maybe bolstering the best bullpen in the National League even more, the Phillies might have their hands tied to make those moves. Of course, by not offering Burrell arbitration the Phillies wouldn't receive compensation if he signed elsewhere. But again, Burrell has said he wants to come back. And just because the Phillies don't offer him arbitration, it doesn't mean he can't re-sign with the Phillies. He can ... for a lower salary. So for those reason, I think the Phillies will not offer him arbitration.
The Phillies don't offer arbitration to Gordon. He's been hurt each of the previous three years. He just had surgery. A no-brainer.
The Phillies don't offer arbitration to Seanez. They didn't put him on the postseason roster and they used him less and less late in the season.
Ruben Amaro Jr. has had a busy first month as Phillies GM.