(This article is just over 1,000 words, but I promise you that they’re all worth it in understanding exactly how much money the Phillies will and can commit to Shane Victorino.)
A benefit to the Phillies having the second most wins in baseball since 2007 (473, the Yankees have 479) is that few players want to leave.
Going back to that first playoff season since 1993, every free agent the Phillies let walk — save for Jayson Werth — found work elsewhere because the team decided to move on.
Shane Victorino is the latest in a series of players who have expressed their desire to remain in Philadelphia, but his words were a bit more direct than most. Victorino explicitly used the words “hometown discount” this week, which was sonic beauty to Phillies fans and torture to his agents, the Levinson Brothers.
“I’m willing to give up free agency,” Victorino told ESPN’s Jayson Stark at the beginning of the final week of February. “A lot of guys won’t. In the game of baseball, free agency is what every major league player dreams of. You want to maximize your value, and of course I do, too. But what’s important to me is, I want to be here. I love playing here. My family loves the city. I love the city. So when I made that statement (to Todd Zolecki, that I’m not going anywhere), that’s what I meant.”
Victorino likely realized after those comments that no matter how badly he wants to stay in Philly, it isn’t worth making public comments and losing so much leverage. He clarified things a bit for CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury Thursday morning.
“I look at it this way, if it’s a significant difference, I have to weigh my options,” Victorino told CSNPhilly.com. “I obviously love playing in Philly. They made me who I am. That sits in the back of my mind. But I also understand there’s a window in this game. Age and time comes into play. When I say I don’t want to go anywhere — yeah, I call this home and I want to finish my career here — but we’ll see how it goes.
“I won’t say I won’t take a hometown discount, but I also will say I want to maximize my opportunity with not only what I’ve accomplished as an individual, but as part of a team.”
Victorino then made his first public request for five years, the same contractual length Jimmy Rollins sought at the outset of his own free agency.
“I’ll be 32 on the market,” said Victorino. “I can go another five years. I would think even more. I want to go until I’m 40. My agents say I can get a five-year deal on the market. Why not trust them?”
Here’s the part where we examine whether or not five years is a realistic length for Victorino.
Continue reading Phils Can Afford Victorino & Hamels, But Not a 3B