In a bit of a head scratching move, the Phillies have offered salary arbitration to Raul Ibanez, meaning if he accepts, he could actually make more than the $12 million he made in 2011.
It was a foregone conclusion the Phillies would offer it to Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Madson. With the Jonathan Papelbon signing, the Phillies lose a first-round draft pick, but when Madson signs elsewhere, they will recoup one. Same goes for Jimmy; if he moves on, the Phillies get a pick either in the first round, or a sandwich pick.
The Ibanez offering, however, comes out of left field. Perhaps they do look at him as a fallback option if they can’t come to terms with another outfielder they are squiring on the open market. And perhaps Ibanez has already told the Phillies he will decline the option anyway, even if they do offer it. In that case, he’s doing the Phils a solid, and they will receive a supplemental pick when he goes elsewhere.
But if that’s not the case, there’s a chance he’ll get a raise on a one-year deal, which would be a misstep by the Phillies. The Phillies can offer no more than 20 percent pay cut from last years salary, according to the old CBA. Let’s hold off on ripping the Phillies front office for the time being, or until the facts come out as to why Ibanez has been given arbitration.
That also means Roy Oswalt is an free agent, no strings attached. Ruben Amaro has said that he’s been in contact with Oswalt’s representation; although it’s unlikely he comes back to Philadelphia.
Yesterday, I spoke with Amaro who said he has been in “constant contact” with Rollins’ agent and he “knows where we stand.” A deal could get done soon if Rollins comes off his five-year demands.