The Phillies Bid Feliz Farewell

Pedro Feliz’ home run in Game Four of the World Series will be his last big Phillies hurrah, as yesterday the team declined to pick-up his 2010 contractual option. Instead of paying $5M, the Phillies will pay him a half a million buyout and look in the free agent and trade market for their next hot corner holder.

Feliz will turn 35 in late April and finishes his Phillies career with a little under 1,100 plate appearances, 26 home runs, and a .699 OPS with generally strong defense. His defense has seemingly declined a bit over the last few seasons, but he’s a good bet for (at worst) an average season of UZR and a ~.700 OPS. Dave Cameron pointed out Feliz’ run of consistency here, and Feliz responded by blowing it within the final weeks of the season and dropping his OPS by a dozen points. Go figure.

As a full-time starter he’s probably a slightly below average player, but for the right pay – say, less than five million – he could be a decent addition to a number of teams, even as a bench player.

For the Phillies, Buster Olney amongst others has suggested Adrian Beltre as a potential fit. Beltre makes sense, he’s a rich man’s Feliz: strong defense, ignorance of weak OBP, and some nice pop. Given his (grotesque and fluke) injury mishaps this season, Beltre could come for fewer years and dollars than he’s really worth. As Dave Allen noted here, Beltre’s bat is suited for a non-Safeco park – or just one that doesn’t constrict right-handed power like the almost 31-year-old Beltre would provide.

If such a swap is to occur, then the Phillies would see an immediate upgrade at third base, but would also make the Mariners the biggest supplier of talent to the two-time National League champions.




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11 Responses to “The Phillies Bid Feliz Farewell”

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  1. Eric M. Van says:

    I don’t think there’s any way Feliz is good enough to start with that bat. He’s also the second-worst baserunner among 3B, trailing only Lowell. I have him projected at about 4 RARP.

    And I don’t think the Phillies are in a position to spend a lot on FA. They have enormous raises in long term contracts and key arb eligibles and are looking at a $130M payroll even before signing anyone.

    They’d be a good fit for Kouzmanoff if Jed Hoyer wants to move Headley back to 3B (and I’m almost sure he does), or for Brandon Wood if the Angels re-sign Figgins, or Tuiasosopo if the Mariners steal Figgins away (as they should). They could also be a destination for a subsidized Mike Lowell (whose glove came back big-time in September) if the Red Sox sign Beltre (as I’m sure they hope to). Other cheap options include Jack Hannahan and Willie Aybar (who’s probably too good to be a bench player), and probably Joe Crede and Mark DeRosa.

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    • DavidCEisen says:

      Myer’s 12 million comes off the books, though.

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    • H says:

      Eric,

      You’re right that the Phillies have a lot of increases coming on their younger players, but like David C says, they have Myers coming off the books. They also have about $20M coming of the books from the contracts of Geoff Jenkins Adam Eaton and Pedro Feliz. I think that they are probably in position to spend $8M to $10M per year on a 3B if they so desire.

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      • Eric M. Van says:

        I took Myers and Feliz into consideration. Didn’t know about Jenkins and Eaton, who represent $13.5 coming off the books.

        Cot’s, however, has them at $109.3 excluding all arb cases. Blanton, Victorino, and Ruiz will bring them to about $123 and that’s just 16 players. I stand by my estimate of $130 just to keep what they’ve got. Last they were at $113. It’ll be tight.

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  2. BATTLETANK says:

    crosses fingers for beltre/figgins

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    • Joe R says:

      I’m assuming Figgins is exactly who they want.
      Give Charlie Manuel the fast guy he obviously wants at the leadoff spot that actually gets on base well.

      I still can’t believe Figgins led the AL in walks. Good for him for improving every year.

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  3. Judy says:

    EV, I really doubt that the Red Sox are going to be willing to subsidize Mike Lowell to the extent that will be necessary to get rid of him and sign Beltre for similar money, in effect, spending $20+M in ’10 just to have Adrian Beltre play 3B for them vs. keeping Lowell and adding a cheaper alternative. Why wouldn’t they go after some of those cheaper alternatives you mentioned and keep Lowell around for one more year, since they have to pay him anyway?

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    • Joe R says:

      I was hoping we could manage a Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek for Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey, too.

      COME ON SABEAN, VETERAN PRESENSE.

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    • Eric M. Van says:

      Because Adrian Beltre is much better than any of those cheaper alternatives, because they can afford it, and because if they don’t do something now to address the position for the next few years, they’ll have no one except Youkilis — and I think they want to keep him at 1B (not at all true until this year).

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      • Judy says:

        I guess that’s where I disagree, I don’t think they can afford it right now, not with all the other needs they have and how much money they already have committed to ’10 payroll.

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  4. MoZer Bats says:

    You are dead on about safeco being a difficult park for right handed power, any right handed power hitter is lucky to hit anything out, at least with wood baseball bats. Beltre would be a great fit in Philly, being in that park and in the NL would really help his offense, and trust me his D is spectacular. And he’s a great clubhouse guy!

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