Walking the Polanco?!


I wanted to save that headline for a time in the 2010 season when the Phillies win in a scenario where Polanco was on third and got walked in to score the winning run.  In a perfect world, it’d be the Pirates, so I could work the whole “walk the plank” angle.


I’ve been hearing and reading a lot of complaints about this Placido Polanco acquisition, and I’ve got to tell you, yeah, I’m now less convinced of what a good idea it was.  Thanks, internet.

The idea seems to be “At the very least, we needed a guy that was better than Feliz to make it all worth it.”  At first glance, we got one.  Placido Polanco is the same age, but a better baseball player than Pedro Feliz.

But then you start slipping those X factors in there.  Yeah, Polanco’s got those Gold Gloves, but they’re not for the position he will be playing.  It’s like hiring to Jorge Posada to do literally anything but be a major league catcher, like appear on talk shows or count to four.  It’s just not pretty.

And, like I said, Polanco’s the same age as Feliz, his skills appear to be “in decline,” and we’re moving him across the diamond.

Then there’s the deal!  $18 million over three years? We’re signing him in the period of his life where we will watch him transition from “mid-30s” to “late-30s.”  I know that’s making me look like a youth-obsessed post-college douche, but hey.  I’m young and I’m always going to be that way.  So it’s cool. I know other people say that, but for me, it’s true. Seriously.

I guess I was quick to run into this because I simplified our needs at third base to be “The same defender but a better hitter.”  Raul Ibanez was already making us think (but not say out loud) during the second half that maybe his deal was a little lengthy for a guy his age .

Polanco gets on base more and doesn’t strike out a lot, which would be nice to equalize guys like Ibanez and Ryan Howard turning into swing-and-a-miss machines at some point every season.  He’s also a number two hitter, which could move Shane Victorino down to 7th in the lineup, giving a boost to the lower end.

And it’s not like he’s never played third base.  For the Phillies.  This decade.

Truth is, somebody had to play there, and it wasn’t going to be Chone Figgins.  Polanco’s numbers are optimistic, but we’re not really going to see what he’s capable of until he hits the dirt come spring.