And the gates are up!
These past few years, Ruben Amaro and his staff have taken advantage of early name-grabbing. Brad Lidge was snared from the Astros early on the in offseason; just as Raul Ibanez was signed without much time ticking off the clock. Dealings like these have painted Amaro as the GM with his gun already drawn most of the time.
With free agent season opening officially today, the only question is who is in Amaro’s crosshairs.
Truth is, nobody at third is a exciting as Chone Figgins, who cashed himself out of the dealings with $50 million price tag for five years. Adrian Beltre’s had some lackluster seasons since his explosive year with the Dodgers, Placido Polanco is a better middle infielder, and Mark DeRosa’s got adaptability, but not a ton of power, and may not even be able to play every day.
Though Beltre’s got those Gold Gloves from ’07-’08.
God, who knows?! I’m sick of these names. Make the deals already so we’ll have something else to talk about. Damn.
To the minors!
Human monster Michael Taylor of the Reading Phils is being rewarded for turning the Eastern League into his own personal smorgasbord. .333 BA, 15 HR, 65 RBI, 18 SB are the statistics I will rattle off to you. Gross. Also, he’s 6′ 6″ and weighs 260 lbs. His hobbies include baseball and sneaking into the opponents’ locker room before a game and eating all of their bats one by one.
I bring him up because Taylor and Reading 3B Neil Sellers are the only players on the same team to be voted onto the 2009 Topps Double-All Star Team. Sellers was also magic offensively, but more importantly, led the league in hits (164) and fielding percentage by a third baseman (.961).
No wonder everybody wants a piece of our farm system.
As the Phillies begin the “Let’s watch an iceberg melt” pace of the offseason, and Ruben Amaro gears up to make some more small, but extremely critical, moves, we are given a very clear reminder of just how horrifically boring baseball can be when you’re watching the business side in action.