For Philadelphia Phillies, It Is Time To Chase Away Winter Blues

November 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

If in a loss everything would have a Phillies hue, perhaps if Chase Utley would have hit a two-run home run in the late innings of Game Six, and his Reggie Jackson breaking performance could have earned him the World Series MVP in a losing cause.

If the dinger was off Mariano Rivera and pulled the Phillies within a run or two of what was in reality was a 7-3 World Series clinching-victory for the Yankees…

But sadly it is merely a dream not based in any reality and certainly not to take away from the monster-like performance of Hideki Matsui, hitting a home run and driving in six out of the seven Yankees runs in the Yankee clincher.

I just had to justify my headline and get back into reality.

The first order of offseason business is whether to renew the option on third baseman Pedro Feliz. While an excellent defensive third baseman, Feliz does not provide the optimal offensive production out of the position, especially since the team’s catcher does not also.

The club option is Feliz is $5 million in 2010 with a $500,000 buyout if the Phillies don’t exercise the option.

Here what I would do and I will accept, as a fan, whether they keep Feliz or not.

If you sign Feliz, make an effort to sign Cardinals utility man Mark DeRosa, shown above, who will be 35 when the baseball season starts. He can play six positions and has a .272 lifetime average.

If you don’t sign Feliz, you could go after Chone Figgins of the Angels, a 2009 All Star who hit .298 with 42 stolen bases.

The other option would be Adrian Beltre, who battled injury last year with the Mariners and filed for free agency in 2010. He hit .265 in limited time and has two Gold Gloves at third base.

All three want big money; however, ultimately, DeRosa might be the most likely guy to play part time, due to his age.

The pitching staff, especially the starters, are the next biggest question mark for the Phillies.

Cliff Lee, who was lights out in the playoffs and World Series, is due for a $9 million in 2010. A steal in today’s market.

However, any long term talk might involved CC Sabathia money and his seven-year, $161 million contract. The Phillies don’t usually go more than three years, but I would go four for a pitcher like Lee. Even if he will be in his mid-30s nearing the end of the contract.

I’d say bye bye to Brett Myers, first of all, and secondly to Jamie Moyer.

However, Myers may be kept as an option to Lidge in the bullpen, while Moyer has a year left on his contract.

It also will be interesting to see what the Phillies will do with Pedro Martinez. The 38-year-old is entertaining and engaging. But in his performance in Game Six of the World Series, his fastball lacked giddy up through the first three innings, when the Yankees took control of the game in the third inning.

On the strikeout of Alex Rodriguez in the third inning, I saw on television that the fastball hit 90 MPH.

Just like it took time for Martinez to warm up, the Phillies can take time to make a decision on Martinez, unless another team steps up and offers the future Hall of Famer more money and years.

I also would improve the bench. Ben Francisco was the Phillies best right-handed bat off the bench and he did a nice job.

Matt Stairs wants to play one more year, but personally, I think he will be hard pressed to come up with a home run again like he did in Game Four of the 2008 NLCS. I would say thanks, Matt, see you, and good luck.

Do you think it is too early to think about improving?

Nope. Apparently the Yankees are beginning thoughts of obtaining Cardinal’s outfield Matt Holliday and pitcher John Lackey.

And while Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui performed very well in the World Series and are free agents, Damon is 36 and Matsui is 35.

As I have stated many times, since midseason, I wanted to play the Yankees in the World Series.

I am not disappointed.

Without a salary cap in baseball, the Yankees have the money to spend on top talent.

Should the Phillies follow suit? No.

There is only one team that has the huge television contract in the largest market in the country.

It is not wrong. There is no salary cap.

The Phillies took the Yankees to six games. After the Game Four loss, I lost my fear and was confident of the Phillies winning it all by taking Game Six and Seven.

It didn’t happen, but despite losing, it was a great Phillies’ season.

The Phillies have to answer to themselves and find a way to stay competitive, with a great nucleus of talent, and make the offseason and midseason moves to stay as a the team that is hard to beat.

 ** Information obtained from

Read more Philadelphia Phillies news on

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...