Ruben Amaro Jr. explained why the Phillies didn't offer salary arbitration to Jamie Moyer or Pat Burrell.
“First, we still have the ability to negotiate with both of them,” he said. “The fact that we didn’t choose to offer them arbitration really doesn’t have much to do with letting them go or not having a relationship with them anymore. We can still bring them back. But the problem with offering them arbitration is that, if in fact they were to accept arbitration, we would be locked into a number that would not give us the flexibility that we have to have to do some other things. Plus, it would delay the process of knowing what those numbers actually would be, possibly until February. So for us to be able to do our business and try to improve our club in other ways, it would kind of handcuff us because there would be some uncertainty with what we can do.”
The Phillies must feel they can bring back Moyer and/or Burrell at a more reasonable rate. Burrell made $14 million last season. Moyer made $7 million. Both would have received raises had they accepted and gone to arbitration. So what Amaro is saying is that if they had offered arbitration and both had accepted -- I believe Burrell would have accepted because he wouldn't have been able to make more than $14 million anywhere else next season -- that it could prevent them from pursuing other avenues to improve the club (i.e. signing a relief pitcher like Juan Cruz). Amaro is saying is that it didn't make sense to offer arbitration to Moyer and Burrell just becuase they could. They feel their money would be better spent by not spending so much on just two players, when they can potentially bring them back for less and spend money in more places in better ways.
I guess one thing I've learend covering baseball the past six seasons is that it's not how much you spend, it's how you spend it. Look at the Yankees and Mets. But in time we will see how these two decisions ultimatley paid off for the Phillies.
Some of the players the Phillies have expressed interested in – Cruz, Derek Lowe, A.J. Burnett and Raul Ibanez – were offered arbitration from their respective teams. Because those players are classified as Type A free agents, the Phillies would forfeit a first-round pick to sign one of them.
“We certainly have to weigh our options,” Amaro said. “Obviously, when some of the big boys who were offered arbitration are going to make you lose a first-round pick, we have to at least weight it and consider it. That doesn’t necessarily mean we will shy away from it.”
A full postseason share for the Phillies is a cool $351,504.48. The Phillies awarded 45 full shares, 7.039 partial shares and 15 cash awards.
What is Adam Eaton's future with the Phillies? Tenuous.
“He’s still part of the club at this particular time,” Amaro said. “If he’s in spring training he will be competing for one of the spots in our rotation. That said, he hasn’t proven to us that he’s a lock by any means. Frankly, we’ll have to see how things shape up as far as rotation is concerned. Some of it may depend on whether we have Jamie back or someone else.”
If Moyer returns, Kyle Kendrick, J.A. Happ, Carlos Carrasco and Drew Carpenter are expected to compete for the final spot in the rotation. If Eaton is in camp with the Phillies, he also will be competing for a spot in the rotation, but I think he would be a long shot.
It sounds like any interest the Phillies have in free agent infielder Mark Loretta is faint. And I've been getting a few questions about Chicago White Sox outfielder Jermaine Dye, who would fit in nicely with the Phillies. But Dye has a limited no-trade clause and the Phillies are one of the teams he can't be traded to.
John Gonzalez, Phil Sheridan and Ashley Fox talk about the chances for Moyer coming back.