After declining the option on Pedro Feliz, the Philadelphia Phillies were in need of a third baseman. Today, the Phillies found their man.
According to various sources, the Phillies have officially signed Placido Polanco to a three-year, $18 million deal with a mutual option for 2013. Polanco, who will be 35 at the end of next season hit .285/.331./.396 with 10 home runs for the Detroit Tigers in 2010.
I got to be honest, I am very torn on whether or not I like this move for the Phillies.
On one hand, despite on only playing 322 games at third base in a 12-year career, Polanco is an upgrade over Feliz at third. Polanco was at 2.7 WAR in 2009, while Feliz was just at 1.3.
I don’t question whether or not Polanco can play third on a full-time basis in 2010. I think he will make the adjustment very well.
Also, signing Polanco to an $18 million deal is probably more cost-effective than signing Chone Figgins or Adrian Beltre. I am assuming both Figgins and Beltre will sign contracts in the $40-$50 million range.
Spending only $6 million on Polanco might allow the Phillies to pursue perhaps a pitcher (Brandon Lyon, Fernando Rodney, JJ Putz) or an upgrade to their bench for 2010.
Now on the other hand, giving a soon-to-be 35-year-old, who’s OPS has declined three straight years a three-year contract is a little questionable. I highly doubt Polanco is going to be worth $6 million a year at the age of 37.
Plus the Phillies have a “Polanco type” player in Shane Victorino. Do the Phillies bat Polanco second and move Victorino down in the order? If so, wouldn’t Mark DeRosa be a better fit for the Phillies in the seven hole than Victorino?
I am more of a DeRosa fan myself and thought he would have been a better fit for the Phillies overall. It will be interesting to see what type of deal DeRosa gets now that Polanco has signed.
This will be Polanco’s second stint with the Phillies. Polanco played with the Phillies from 2002-2005 hitting .297 and had a .791 OPS–the highest of his career with any team.
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