Thursday, December 03, 2009

Polly Want A Cracker?

Numerous sources have the Phillies close to signing Placido "Polly" Polanco to a 2 year $10-12M deal to play 3rd base. Baseball gurus such as ESPN's Jayson Stark, FOX's Ken Rosenthal, as well as Phillies' own Todd Zolecki have confirmed this. In my opinion Polanco seems to be the best cost effective alternative at 3rd base. Chone Figgins is ideal, but is out of the Phillies price range. Adrian Beltre is represented by Scott Boras who is said to be seeking a 4 year deal. Mark DeRosa is decent, but his glove at 3rd is not an asset, only his bat is. Miguel Tejada would be worth a look, but he's never played 3rd base before. That brings me back to Polly, who is a lifetime .303/.761 hitter and plays Gold Glove worthy defense (albeit at 2nd base). He was successful for 4 seasons with the Phillies (2002-2005) playing 3rd and 2nd base, and was later shipped out to make room for Chase Utley, netting the Phillies a utility infielder in the form of Ramon Martinez and a machete murderer in the form of Ugueth Urbina. He has not played 3rd base since 2005, but his range is still good, his arm is still strong, and he's only made 15 errors at the position in 322 games (.982 fielding %).

The Detroit Tigers did not offer arbitration to Polanco, making him even more attractive to the Phillies. Placido is also a contact hitter (only 391 k's in 12 seasons), ideal for batting 2nd, which would allow Shane Victorino to drop to 7th in the lineup serving as a table-setter down there. He's 34 years old, bats right, and is considered to be one of the more savvy ball players in terms of baseball smarts. The addition of Polanco would all but seal up the offensive side of the game for the Phils, leaving only the pitching staff to be addressed this offseason.


Andrew said...

Not a bad solution. Hopefully his glove is just as good at 3B.

Interesting to note, should this happen, the Philly homecomings recently...

Sixers - AI
Flyers - Boucher
Eagles - Trotter
Phillies - Polanco?

Its like 2002 all over again!

Corey said...

agree with the signing.

disagree putting polanco 2nd and moving victorino down to 7th.

Reverend Paul Revere said...

bring him back

Andrew said...

looks like its happening today

GM-Carson said...

Corey- would you rather bat Vic leadoff with Polly 2nd and drop J-Roll to 7th?

GM-Carson said...

Zolecki is reporting the deal 3 years $18M with an option for 2013. I like Polanco and think he'll return to a .300 hitter with 10+ homerun pop. Deal is pending a physical.

Corey said...

@Carson - what i don't want is a base stealer batting 7th because no manager is going to risk not turning the lineup over to to put a runner in scoring position for the 8th/9th batters. victorino batting 7th would be such a waste of his talents.

whether i would like j-roll 7th is irrelevant because it ain't happening. i understand his OBP is weak but they've made it to the WS two years running with him up top and you know how much charlie like to mess with the "chemistry." maybe if tony larussa becomes manager but until then, barring a huge slump like last season, jimmy is staying up top.

GM-Carson said...

I think Vic could bat 7th, hit a single, steal 2nd, then score on a base knock by Chooch/Schneider. Or be sacrificed over by the pitcher, or knocked in by a pinch-hitter later in the game.

Preserve Jon said...

I tell you what. No matter where Polly bats, our lineup looks a lot better in interleague and WS games.

JRoll, Vic, Uts, Howard, Werth, Ibanez, Polly (DH), Chooch, Uribe


Corey said...

that's all true, but so what?

polanco strikes out rarely but victorino struck out only 25 times more than polanco but walked 24 more times. he has a better k:bb ratio. he GIDP less. he had a better batting average. he had a better OBP. he had a better OPS. he's much faster and steals many more bases. so what does polanco give you at #2 that victorino doesn't? basically, less strikeouts and less production.

and as far as victorino setting the table, i would much rather have him setting up utley/howard/werth/ibanez than ruiz/the pitcher or PH.

Preserve Jon said...

My bad, that should have read Castro, not Uribe. Wrong Juan.

GM-Carson said...

I'd prefer Juan Uribe to Juan Castro!

I'd like this lineup:
1. Vic
2. Polly
3. Chutley
4. Howard
5. Werth
6. Ibanez
7. J-Roll
8. Chooch/Schneider

But it ain't gonna happen.

SirAlden said...

I agree with Corey's and Carson's lineup, with J-Roll Batting 8th, not 7th.

Unless Victorino is the lead off Steal 45+ bases lead off batter,
Polanco is a PUSH vs. Feliz from
a batting standpoint.

From Scott Lauber

"Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement. “He’s a professional hitter who will enhance our lineup. As a Gold Glove infielder, we’re very confident that he will make a smooth transition back to third base. Polly also gives us some added versatility at second base if and when Chase [Utley] needs a rest.”

For the Phillies, the first and third elements of Amaro’s statement outweigh the second. Polanco (photo: Getty Images), a right-handed hitter, handles the bat well (he rarely strikes out and excels at moving runners) and is ideal for the No. 2 spot in the lineup. And Utley has worn down during the second half of the past few seasons, mainly because the Phillies have lacked a suitable alternative with whom to spell him at second base."

Everyone rails at the 25th Utility Man issue on the Phillies Roster - But someone who can HIT,
and play SS will be starting and making 4MM+.

Here is where the Polanco Signing could bear big dividends going forward --

If we sign Tatis or Mora as the 24th Man Professional Righthanded Power Bat we have been needing, then Utley and his hip can have a day off here and there against Lefthanded Pitchers with Polanco and his Gold Glove Sliding over to 2B with Tatis or Mora at 3B.

Then the bench would be:

Dobbs L
Schneider L
Castro S
Francisco R
Tatis or Mora R

The bench would become a major strength going forward, especially vs. last year. Being able to start once a week at 3B might Lasso in the much better
right handed Tatis or Mora.

Polanco becoming the undercontract super-utility player in years 3 and 4 could be a very valuable signing.

Bob D said...

its all good

Andrew said...

Doubt Mora would sign as a bench player. and isn't Tatis a roider?

GM-Carson said...

I'm in favor of signing Tatis or Mora for the final bench spot, but my guess is that will be in holding for John Mayberry Jr.