Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's official: the Phillies are bringing back Placido Polanco

UPDATE: It's official: Placido Polanco is a Phillie, he has signed the 3 year, 18 million dollar contract.

2009 is the year of the comeback in Philadelphia. First, Brian Boucher returned to the Flyers, then the Eagles brought back Jeremiah Trotter, then Allen Iverson signed with the Sixers. Now, the Phillies are on the verge of bringing one of their old players back to play third base: Placido Polanco.

According to Todd Zolecki, Polanco, who you last remember playing second base for the Phillies in 2005, is close to signing a 3 year deal with the Phillies reportedly worth 18 million dollars. The deal will also include an option for a 4th year and is believed to be finalized pending a physical.

While your first thought might be to question the merit of signing a 34 year old player to a 3 year contract, don't forget how smart the Raul Ibanez signing from last summer looks. Polanco is a steady veteran, one who will likely bat second in the lineup and give the Phillies a .290 batting average and get on base with regularity. While he lacks power, Polanco will get driven in by the big bats and will make a nice addition to the Phillies homer-friendly lineup.

The irony in the signing of Polanco is that the Phillies will be playing him at third base, a position many fans hoped he would play for them back in 2005. If you remember, Polanco was the regular second baseman with the team before he was traded to make room for the emerging Chase Utley. Many fans pleaded with the Phillies to keep Polanco and move him to third base but apparently the management back then didn't think it would work. Now, 4 plus years later, the Phillies will be playing Polanco at third base, a position he really hasn't played with any regularity for several seasons.

With Polanco likely moving into the number 2 spot in the lineup, you are going to see a shake-up in the Phillies order next season. Shane Victorino will drop down, likely to the number 7 spot that Pedro Feliz hit in last season. It's nothing against Victorino, Polanco is just a more ideal number 2 hitter.

The Phillies have apparently chosen to pass on Adrian Beltre and Chone Figgins, the top two free agent third basemen on the market, and instead have gone with an older, more stable veteran in Polanco. While some will be disappointed the Phillies didn't spend bigger bucks to get a more talented player, making this signing should leave the Phils with a few bucks to pick up a relief pitcher or two.

Who will be next in the Great Philadelphia Comeback story? Personally, I'm rooting for the return of Jim Thome or Eric Lindros.


pennabry said...

Please someone tell Ruben to take the extra cash, plus the rise in ticket prices, and go after Halladay, make it a Holiday in Philly, by bringing another Cy Young quality pitcher to Citizens Bank Park.. you wanna make the next step ??? the time is now.. 7 complete games, 4 shutouts, plus one of the winniest pitching percentages in baseball..

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