Phillies Handing Out Extensions Like Candy

I am going to admit, I am writing this post in a very bad mood. As many of you know, I am a New York Jets fan. I have had season tickets for the past seven years and yesterday’s loss was a killer for me.

I wasn’t as confident going into this game as I was going into the 1998 AFC Championship Game, but confident none-the-less. In 1998, the Jets lost to an all-world (at the time) running back in Terrell Davis and a Hall of Fame quarterback in John Elway.

Yesterday, the Jets lost to another Hall of Fame QB, Peyton Manning. When people ask me the greatest QB I have ever seen play, the answer I always give is Joe Montana. Manning is doing his best to change my mind.

As the great Joe Benigno always says “Oh the pain, the pain, the pain.”

Now on the matter or post at hand.

The Philadelphia Phillies have had themselves quite the busy offseason. They have signed free agents (Placido Polanco, Danys Baez), made trades (Roy Halladay), and now they are taking care of their own.

Over the last week, the Phillies have signed three players to contract extensions. The Phillies are taking a page out of the old Cleveland Indians’ playbook in the early 90’s when they were locking up all of their talent to contract extensions.

Let’s take a look at who the Phillies locked up, their contracts, and whether or not those extensions make sense.

Carlos Ruiz: Three-years, $8.85 million.

I absolutely love, love, love this extension for the Phillies. Last year, Ruiz set a career high in home runs with nine and OPS with a .780 mark. But that is not the reason I love this deal.

Ruiz is one of those glue guys that every team needs. Ruiz raises his game in the postseason (career .303 hitter) and doesn’t it always seem he is in the middle of every big rally the Phillies have in October?

Ruiz also catches a very good game. Watching him in the last couple of postseasons, Ruiz has developed a good rapport with the Phillies’ pitching staff and usually makes the right pitch selection in a big spot.

Good extension by the Phillies

Shane Victorino: Three-years, $22 million.

Again, this is a very good extension by the Phillies. According to Fangraphs, Victorino was worth about $33.5 million to the Phillies over the last two years. Roughly $17 million a year.

I would smile too if I just got $24MM

To give a player around $7 million a year, who gives your team $17 million in value, is a pretty good deal in my opinion. Victorino, who was acquired by Philadelphia in the 2004 Rule 5 Draft from the Los Angeles Dodgers, can do it all for the Phillies.

Victorino finished in the top-10 in 2009 in triples (first), hits (eighth), doubles (ninth), and stolen bases (ninth). Though he slipped a little in 2009, Victorino is also a pretty solid center fielder.

So far the Phillies are two-for-two in their contract extensions.

Joe Blanton: Three-years, $24 million.

This extension I am going to have to question. I don’t mind the money per years that the Phillies are giving Blanton, but why give him three years?

If Blanton was a free agent this offseason, he would get a one or at the most, a two-year deal. Joel Pineiro is a pretty comparable pitcher and he got a two-year deal. No reason for the Phillies to go three years with Blanton.

Blanton last year was 12-8 with a 4.09 ERA with 163 K’s and a 1.32 WHIP in 195.1 innings. He will be 33 when his three-year contract expires.

So as Meatloaf once said “Two out of three ain’t bad.” With the Phillies locking up most of their top talent for years to come, they have established themselves as the team to beat in the National League for at least the next three years.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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