UPDATE: Polanco Deal Done

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, December 03, 2009 10:25 AM | Comments: 262

Originally posted Dec. 2, 2009 at 11:38 pm.

Over the past few hours, things may have gotten rather hot and heavy with Placido Polanco and the Phillies.  ESPN’s Jayson Stark, along with Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, both say that the Phils may be turning their attention to Polanco on a two-year deal worth between $10-12 million.

Polanco has played mostly second base during his career, but apparently is willing to move to the other side of the diamond to play in Philadelphia once again.

UPDATE (10:25 am): In the last 15 minutes or so, Jon Heyman of SI has tweeted that a deal should be finalized today with Polanco.  The numbers: three-years, $18 million.  Polanco would bat second and Victorino would move to a run producing spot in the order.

UPDATE (10:51 am): Here is what ESPN’s Keith Law wrote about the possible signing of Polanco:

“Ruben Amaro’s fetish as a GM seems to be giving three-year contracts to hitters in decline; Raul Ibanez’ deal isn’t looking so hot after his second-half swoon, and now he’s about to give Placido Polanco three years as well. Polanco’s defense at second is already diminishing as his body slows down, but the Phillies are going to ask him to move to a position where quickness is more important than pure range. His bat is also in decline and he’s moving to a position with a higher offensive standard, although the guy he’s replacing was no great shakes with the stick himself. Six million a year isn’t much for a player who’ll probably be worth around two wins over replacement, but by the midpoint of this deal it could look very bad for the Phillies.”

UPDATE (2:00 pm): It’s official. The Phillies and Polanco agree to a three-year, $18 million deal.

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About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1714 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

  • Posts: 0 Greg V.

    I was among those that didn’t want him traded in the first place. I’d be glad to have him back.

  • Posts: 0 Brendan

    Bring him in. Id think hed fit in nicely. He shouldve been playing 3B the past 6 years. Rarely strikes out, plays hurt, great OBP, good with teammates, not coming off injury, versatile….


  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    I know I said Ruben would surprise us but I was hoping not in a negative way. This is a downgrade from Feliz if he does sign Polanco.
    Hopefully, if Placido signs, Ruben will still keep his options open for a LEGIT 3rd baseman with some pop..

  • Posts: 0 jrollpatrol08

    ehh im on the fence.

    brendan u listed a bunch of great qualities. i agree with all of em. but he is on the decline offensively if you look at the numbers. if the phils sign him, they will have missed his prime on both ends…too early and too late. i think detroit got the best of him in polancos early 30s.

    eventually they gotta get a guy that can man the position for a couple years. polanco i dont really see as that guy, and not necessarily an overall upgrade to feliz. i see beltre as this fit, even though he will be more expensive than polanco, beltre is younger and has more potential to put up offensive numbers over the next few years.

    either one could fit, but polanco is much more short term. i d rather have the phils lock up beltre this offseason…because there isnt gonna be much money around next offseason with expiring contracts of werth + whatever they offer lee if he accepts…get beltre now

  • Posts: 0 Jeff Dowder

    It’s official now…the Phillies are heading backwards. Polanco has played third less than 50 games over the past seven seasons, and suddenly he’s the answer at thirdbase for the defending NL champions? We’re supposed to get excited about Polanco, Schneider and Castro? It’s been a bad offseason for Amaro so far.

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    I see this as a short term fix – definite upgrade offensively, minor downgrade defensively. Now it is time to look for the 3rd baeman of the future. The big question – where does Charlie put PP in the order? I don’t think Vic’s strong point is situational hitting, but will Charlie be willing to shake things up? I see the line-up as:
    - Rollins
    - Polanco
    - Utley
    - Howard
    - Werth
    - Ibanez
    - Vic
    - Ruiz/Schneider
    - Pitcher
    Potential to score 900 runs, defense still solid. Also see Dobbs with more starts at 3rd (unless we are going after Derosa also, but think that would be too much $$) – would bat Dobbs 7th, Vic back to #2. See Polanco with some time at 2nd and short also.
    We can’t have an all star at every position, so far I think Ruben has done a solid job of filling holes while staying within budget. I really don’t think the 3rd baseman or back-up catcher is going to be a major factor in whether the Phils make the playoffs, but could influence the amount of rest the middle gets during the season. Assuming we sign Polanco, both moves have been upgrades. Put any available money into a right handed starter – can’t throw 4 lefties out there. Then grab cheap bodies to supplement the pen, see which ones pan out.

  • Posts: 0 George

    Unlike some, I’m very impressed with Amaro so far. He’s signed a big improvement to back up Ruiz, gotten a budget replacement–also something of an upgrade–for Bruntlett, and now is trying to upgrade the Phil’s situational hitting, something the team has been very deficient at the past three years.

    I see Polanco as being better for the team than Beltre. He may not get the home runs, but he’ll consistently move runners, and he can spell Utley sometimes at second–he’s won two gold gloves there–which Beltre cannot. He would also give the Phils greater lineup flexibility.

    I, for one, was very frustrated with the Phils’ offense this year. They could sometimes hit the ball out of the park, but too many times couldn’t score a runner from third. They had too high a strikeout rate. Maybe Polanco will improve that situation, whereas Beltre’s strikeout rate wouldn’t.

  • Posts: 0 Mazinman

    I always liked Polanco before he was traded and would be happy to see him back as he is still producing. If we can use the money we would save by signing Polanco and not someone like Beltre to lock up Lee to a long term deal and/or go after another top player then its a worthwhile investment.

  • Posts: 0 bob

    How can you NOT be impressed with Amaro? He kept the core together and helped make a 2nd straight run at the World Series. He learned under one of the best in Pat Gillick.

  • Posts: 0 bob

    Projected lineup by adding Polanco:


    I’m sure you could interchange Victornio and Polanco and they’d both be comfortable hitting in the 2 or 7 holes. Either way we have 2 good contact hitters at the top and bottom of the order.

    My only concern would be Polanco’s adjustment to 3B full time, but since hes a solid defender at 2B, this should be too much of an issue.

  • Posts: 0 SpinJamin

    I have two problems with this if it happens and they may just be moot points as the season progresses. How is Shane going to adjust to being dropped in the order the entire season? How is Polanco going to play at third. I know Beltre would command more money, but I am convinced he is more of a sure thing than any of the other guys. Beltre would just fit into the lineup without affecting others and you wouldn’t need to worry about his defense at all. He probably wouldn’t be much different than Feliz, but I don’t think Feliz was that really bad at all.

  • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    At this stage the reason that jumps out at me as to why the Phils are going after polanco is money. Is Polanco is asking for $10-12MM, then what is Beltre looking for? Must be at least a few million more with another year on it. Derosa, too.

    I’m a fan of Polanco, just not sure if he’s right for this situation.

  • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    According to Bob Elliot of the Toronto Sun, the Phillies are interested in Brandon Lyon. – http://twitter.com/elliottbaseball/status/6291487422

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    I agree with you completely Pat. I think Beltre is the better fit for the Phillies current needs, always have, but if Beltre wants significantly more money than Polanco than Placido is certainly a viable back up option. Especially if that money saved is to go after quality bullpen arms.

    As for Lyon, not my first choice but I would take him. I hope they go after Mike Gonzalez or Damaso Marte. They need a shut down lefty because Romero is anything but. J.C is good but his penchant for walking guys is maddening.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff Dowder

    The problem is that the window of opportunity for this team will be closing very soon. There’s no guarantee that Lee and Werth still be here in 2010, and Howard, Hamels, and Rollins may not be here in 2012. (Is there anyone who doesn’t think the Yankees are already looking at Howard as their 2012 DH?). I’d much rather see the team making the bold statement that they’re not content on treading water instead of bringing in these players whose best years are arguably behind them.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    I’d prefer Beltre but Polanco is a solid option. My two concerns are:
    1. Defense, how are we sure that he won’t suck playing 3rd base??
    2. Years in the contract. Some sources say it’s 2 years.. but I saw one other source that says it would be for 3 years!!! That would be wayyy too long for a guy we don’t even know could play above-average 3rd base.

    Good things would be the improved situational hitting, good character guy in the clubhouse, can play 2nd when Utley needs to rest (allowing Dobbs to play 3rd), high average, won’t cost any draft picks…

    Amaro knows what he’s doing…

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    The rumor is that the Phils and Polanco are discussing a 3-year deal. Polanco is 4 years older than Beltre and I just don’t see the logic in giving a 3-year deal to a 34 year old who hasn’t played the position in years.

    Ruben misread the market last offseason when he overpaid for Ibanez. Yes, I know, Ibanez was very good at the beginning of last season, but Ruben gave him $37.5 million when a guy like Abreu got $5 million. Amaro misread the market. Why is Ruben again trying to finish the Phils offseason moves by mid-December?

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    That tells me that they intend to sign a pitcher who will cost a draft pick of some sort. Lyon will not be the only pitcher they bring in if they get him.

    Polanco saves a bit of money and allows them to spend in other areas. Also, they are not moving backwards. He won a Gold Glove at second base so he can still play the field. You should know by now that this is what Amaro does when he sees an opportunity.

    When Amaro sees the right guy at the right price that fits in with the team he goes hard after him and signs or lands him fast. Thats his style. He does not wait for the expensive guys to sign. He did it with Raul and hes doing it again with Polanco.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Griffin: he gave Ibanez 31.5m not 37.5m..that’s a 6m difference yo!

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    My bad on that mistype, Manny!

  • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Stark is saying talks have intensified. But for 3 yrs, I dont like it one bit. The think that Amaro seems to be keying in on is that Polanco does not come with losing a draft pick. Beltre is a Type-B as is Derosa.

    Also, rumors like this flair up all the time. Just last week Halladay was on his way to Boston as they were “actively pursuing him”. So take it with a grain of salt until Polanco’s name is on the contract.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Hes doing that because he knows that it will take longer to get the pitching resolved. Did you notice the only notable pitcher to sign so far is Wagner?

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Yea, I don’t like this if it’s gonna be for THREE years!!
    THREE years for a 34-yr old who’s gonna be making a switch to 3rd base? I really like Polanco as an option, but this is wayyy too much. If it’s gonna be THREE, I hope the 3rd one is a club option…

  • Posts: 0 Jeff of Nova

    I love this move only if they do one thing.

    Go and draft a legit 3rd baseman of the future.

    Polanco is good for 3 more years and is a solid option there. I think the lineup should really goes this route


    Allow Rollins to develop as a pop hitter with speed.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    They’re gonna pull the trigger on a 3-yr deal!!! yikes…

    #phils like polanco to play 3rd, bat 2nd. will move victorino to run-producing spot. $18-mil deal should be finalized today.

  • Posts: 0 Ben

    i can’t believe he’d do the deal for three years. at best two years with a club option for a third. too much risk for a guy declining and switching positions.

    i do like that this adds a solid option to give utley some days off. dobbs can play third and polanco could move to second for 5-10 games a year, which is a solid line up still and will let utley not taper off at the end of the year.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff Dowder

    Zolecki just sent out a tweet that a 3-year $18 million deal (with a 2013 year mutual option) is “close”. I can’t say that I look foward to watching a 37 year old Polanco playing the hot corner in 2012.

  • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Is that really the going rate of someone like Polanco? Or is Amaro overpaying a bit? I tend to think the latter by about $1 mil per year.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    I just hope this translates into an Ibanez-type deal and not a Jenkins-type.


  • Posts: 0 Manny

    My wild guess is that this is probably what Beltre will get in a few weeks… (some 3yr deal, worth just a couple million more)…

  • Posts: 0 Rdavis

    Hmmm lets see…the only problem with this signing is length of contract, age of player, defensive capabilities at a new position, and declining batting average. Now to add insult to injury they will move Victorino down in the lineup and leave Rollins at leadoff. Brilliant!

  • Posts: 0 christian

    c’mon guys! the 3 year deal is likely something similar to what Feliz had originally signed for (2 years at $5.5/6 million and club option for the 3rd).

    And Polanco slides perfectly into the #2 hole. Phils are – by default – upgrading the #7 hole with Victorino. Shouldn’t be as many inning ending double plays with Vic down there.

  • Posts: 0 Havoc

    If we’re getting our 3B option for 5-6 million or cheaper since it could be more money in the later years. This could be a signal that the Phils will be going after some additional pitching for the team. If the BP or SP was significantly improved by taking the cheaper Polanco over Beltre I’d make that move too. I doubt it will do anything but make our offense better, and Polanco should be able to play 3B well enough for us given the range that Jroll covers.

  • Posts: 0 Ed 2

    We have ZERO infield talent coming up so a versatile guy like polanco is good to have around. People seem to love feliz, but besides his happy name, i cant understand why. His defense is slipping according to the stats (closer to league average), his weak infield grounders are terrible rally killers, and most egregiously, he always swings at the first pitch, even if the pitcher walked the last 2 and is teetering. Anyway…

    Figgins costs too much;
    Beltre strikes out too much;
    Tejada is a double play MACHINE;
    Derosa would be a nice luxury, but is inferior to polanco across the board;
    and Lowell is just a joke (thankgod he wanted to go back to the red sox and rejected our better offer 2 years ago)

  • Posts: 0 rusty stab

    Polanco will fit in nicely, should bat second behind Victorino(who gets on base more than Rollins and can steal bases). Amaro is a smart guy.
    I would be happy with this move. Polanco is a lifetime .303 hitter. Not bad.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    3 years PLUS a mutual option.

  • Posts: 0 DD

    I don’t think this is necessarly a bad signing but is’nt this the same guy who would not play third base a few years back? What I don’t want to hear is a guy who won a gold glove as a second baseman moan and groan about playing another position. I’m sure that Ruben has worked this out but this is a pro athlete who has played 2B most of his career. I like a lot of the things he brings with him, I just hope he can play third base. Someone who knows, please enlighten me and give me reason to believe he is the answer at 3B.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff Dowder

    “I just hope this translates into an Ibanez-type deal and not a Jenkins-type.”

    It’s way too early to say the Ibanez contract was a good signing. I realize that he’s now a folk hero based on his April & May, but after June 1 he batted just 236 with 47 RBIs. He had a grand total of four RBIs in the month of August. People may blame that on injury, but players in their late 30′s tend to get hurt more. Let’s see how Raul produces over the next two seasons before making a judgement on how well that $30 million was spent.

  • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Well Polanco would not have signed here if he didnt want to play 3B. Theres a gent named Chase who plays there now, and he sure as shit isnt moving to 3rd.

  • Posts: 0 Paul

    If this works, I like the move.

    Palonco is a type of hitter the Phillies lack, patient, doesn’t strike out a lot, and puts the ball in play. They don’t need another feast or famine guy like Feliz or Beltre.

    Plus I like his attitude and versitility in the field.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Options can be declined, though Im a little leery abotu a 3rd year, sure.

    But guys, as it was duly mentioned earlier, they have NO infield talent coming up in the next year or two. NONE. Galvis is the closest but he needs to develop a tad more power and hell be starting at Reading anyway. Otherwise hell be a pure slap hitter. Hewitt busted at 3B and is being moved to the OF. Sellers, I dunno, bench player maybe.

    Otherwise, its up to Polanco to hold it down for a few years until they can come up with a plan.

    I thought, heck – we all THOUGHT thats what they were going to do with Feliz. But they totally blew it in terms of grooming someone behind him. Now, theyll have to do it all over again. But Polanco is quality at the plate. This will be a sick lineup. A little faster, a bit less power with Feliz gone, but MUCH better at putting runners on base and moving them around.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I heard this as 3 years, $18 Million … hopefully that 3rd year is a team-option ..

    I said before that I would be fine with whatever the Phillies wanted to do.. they know how to win .. so Polanco works for me

    I would bat Victorino #6, and Ibanez #7 …

  • Posts: 0 bob


    BINGO……and buy put the ball in play you do NOT mean ground into DP or pop up on 1st pitch. This lineup needed a hitter (no matter if he bats 2nd or 7th) that can consistently put the ball in play. How many teams last season were we left stretching our heads when we’d get a runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs and couldn’t get them in with a simple ground ball or fly ball. Polanco is a solution to that problem.

    Defensively is the question to see how he adapts at 3B. But I think it’s a good risk to take.

  • Posts: 0 Slice

    I think its a good deal and it won’t cost them any draft picks to give up since Detroit didn’t offer him arbitration. he played 322 games at 3rd with a .982 Fielding percentage according to baseball-reference.com, which to me isn’t half bad. He also played SS and of course 2nd so he’s pretty versatile player and a good hitter.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff Dowder

    The reports are all 3 years guaranteed with a 4th year mutual option.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    @Jeff Dowder: I kinda agree with you, but despite the second-half Raul had an excellent year overall. This first year alone was worth at least halft of his contract, in my opinion. He’s gonna have to be mediocre the next two years to break-even, and I don’t see that happening.

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    Ouch. 3 guaranteed years for a 34 year old? Who exactly are the Phillies bidding against? Would a 34 year old declining 2B not accept a 2 year deal?

    Jeff Dowder is right about Ibanez. That deal looked good during the first half of last year, but he still has two more years at big money left. That might not work out so well.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    @Geoff.. re; the mutual option.. Yea, but I just threw that out there becuase some of us raised the possibility that the 3rd year was gonna be an option.. but it’s not. The FOURTH year is the mutual option……

    @Don: too early to get into discussing if Vic should bat 6th and Ibanez 7th, but at least I wouldn’t move a 100RBI, 30+HR guy further down the lineup. Raul is an RBI guy, more than Shane. Shane will have to start a rally of his own in the 7th hole… or get Ibanez (and his healthy OBP) in scoring position.

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    I would rather have Feliz on a 1 year deal than Polanco for 3. Feliz is not as good a hitter, but he’s better defensively at 3B and is less of a risk than a 3 year deal for Polanco.

  • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    The deal is 3 FULL seasons, with a mutual option for a 4th. Yikes.

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