This post was written by one of our commenters, The Dispy.
The general consensus is that, after the season is over, the Phils will have three big contract issues to deal with: the pending free agency of both Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Madson along with an extension for Cole Hamels. The Phillies, by design or good fortune, have a lot of expiring money coming off the books.
In my view, they are not cash strapped, yet good business and an eye to the future dictate they be prudent when letting their money go. That said, lets tackle these contracts one at a time:
1. Cole Hamels: He is the “must do” out of the three. Its not my money, but I would not be much interested in playing hardball with Cole. He is a star, he’s young, and he’s lefthanded. If I were Cole I’d want five years. Cliff got it so why shouldn’t he? Buying out his 2012 arb years is worth what….16m? Then give him 20m a year after that.? Dipsy’s price: 5y96m
2. Ryan Madson: The “reluctant” closer. He may be good enough to be a closer but he’s never done it for an extended period of time. No track record. While that may change as the season goes on, today is today. By way of comparison shopping, Francisco Cordero makes 4/46, Valverde makes 2y14m, Papelbon 1/12 on an arb year, and in a drug addled stupor, Brian Cashman gave Rafael Soriano three years at….gulp….35 million. And he doesn’t even close. I have a feeling that this is where Boras’ is going to hang his hat when the phones heat up. If that’s what Madson’s price is going to be then I say “happy trails to you!” Lets also be mindful that they’re are gonna be closers floating around next year and we would just pick one. Yes, it is just that easy. And then there’s always that Bastardo fella. Dipsy’s price: 2y/21m-ish.
3. Well, those two were easy for me. Lastly, it’s Jimmy Rollins. Do we really have to talk about all his strengths and weaknesses? For me, he gets props for being a leader. And he is one of those VERY rare players that I’ll tack on a buck or two for being a company man. The number I keep hearing is 3/36. No. No. And no.
While still an excellent fielder, Jimmy has been susceptible to prolonged offensive slumps and injury ever since his MVP season. While he has played well in his contract year, he is now hurt. Again. I, for one, do not want to sit through three long years of injury and spurts of offensive ineffectiveness. We’ve done that with recent players. Its just too much money when you don’t know what you’re getting. If you accept the premise that left field will be upgraded offensively next year, then I think the Phils can do just fine with a capable, professional shortstop. Jimmy has indicated that he is not in any frame of mind to just go year to year or accept a “I-just-wanna-stay-in Philly” type of deal. Dipsy’s price: 2y22m with a mutual option for a third year. Incentives might be good here but Jimmy won’t have it.