Still Working on Moyer / More Thoughts On Ibanez
It is taking an awfully long time, but it seems the Phillies are serious about trying to re-sign Jamie Moyer. Rumor has it that Moyer wants a 2 year deal worth around 15 million dollars. It would be great to have Jamie back, especially in light of what someone like Derek Lowe is going to cost. The delay appears to be an effort to work out the smaller details; contract wording and such. Or, maybe Moyer just needs a nap between negotiations – you know how old people get. They need their rest. J
I have also been thinking about the Pat Burrell issue and the signing of Raul Ibanez. The more I think about it, the sadder it becomes. This really seems to be a case of the Phillies just NOT wanting to sign Burrell, more than them thinking Ibanez would be a better fit. The Phillies really, really needed a big right-handed bat if they were going to replace Burrell; but Ibanez is a lefty. And Ibanez is also four years older than Burrell, making a three-year contract seem very, very strange. Why sign a 36 year-old lefty AND give him Ryan Howard-type money unless you are just dead set on NOT having Burrell return? Poor Pat; it does seem like they just wanted him gone. L
As for the age of Ibanez, I know we’ve seen Moyer for the last two years defy Mother Nature, but perhaps Moyer is simply a freak of nature? Who’s to say that Ibanez will age as gracefully? Most Major Leaguers do not do well in the later 30’s and early 40’s. Odds are certainly against them on this pick. Ibanez is a very solid, very consistent player right now, but what will happen down the road at his age? The Phillies were totally sold on Geoff Jenkins when they signed him last year and look how that turned out. I said it was the wrong move from the start because his numbers had begun declining in 2006 and 2007. But as we all know, no one listens to me L The 34-year old Jenkins batted only .246 with 9 homers and only 29 RBI for the Phillies in 2008. Is this where I say “Told ya so”? Sure, we still won the big game, but that was because we had Jayson Werth to pick up the slack.
I am more hopeful about Ibanez than I was last year about Jenkins because his numbers have been steady and he has not yet shown signs of slowing down. So for 2009, I think he will be productive for the Phillies, but what happens after that, as the body begins to age? Was Burrell the better choice? Maybe not; he seems to always be fighting off an injury of some sort. But he was very consistent this year and a good, veteran leader in the clubhouse. As for Ibanez, were there right handed bats and younger guys out there they could have gone after instead? Yes. So still, this move is puzzling to me.
The Phillies still have time to find a right-handed bat, but where will he go? Assuming Utley gets well and returns within the first 2 months, there is nowhere to put him. The starters are set. I also think this Ibanez deal is going to be a strain on the payroll; not his 30 million, but the salaries they are going to have to pay everyone else with this signing as a jumping off point. Howard is not going to settle for the 10 million he got in 2008 if Ibanez is making the same amount. He’s going to want 20 million.
And those players whose contracts were just tendered by the Phils, making them signed players for 2009, are going to use the Ibanez signing as a basis for what they think they are worth as well. This includes Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino, Chad Durbin, Ryan Madson and Greg Dobbs. These players can now negotiate their salaries or go to arbitration. And coming off a World Championship to which they contributed, these guys are more likely to win in arbitration. I think Ruben Amaro Jr. may have just opened Pandora’s Box. Then again, I have often been told that I think WAY too much J Guess I will just relax, continue to enjoy the off-season, and hope for the best.
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