Thursday, December 3, 2009

Phillies, Polanco in serious talks

The Phillies are in serious talks with Placido Polanco about returning to Philadelphia, and have apparently narrowed their focus to Polanco. While they were weighing several options, the Phillies kicked up in the intensity in their pursuit for the former Phillie second baseman when Detroit failed to offer him salary arbitration. Had he been offered arbitration as a Class-A free agent, any team would have to forfeit its first round pick to sign Polanco. The Phillies can now sign Polanco without any ramifications and they could close on a deal soon.

Despite some negative opinions floating around the World Wide Web, Polanco would be a considerable upgrade from Pedro Feliz. He is a gold glove second baseman, and is comfortable manning the hot corner; but his arm is not as strong as Pedro's. Nearly every offensive category is an upgrade though. Polanco simply does not have bad at bats. You can't just look at batting average with Polanco, because as a number two hitter, he sacrifices himself to move the runner consistently. He doesn't strike out, and he'll be on base much more often than Feliz was. Also, with Feliz's declining power, Polanco hit just a few fewer home runs than Feliz last season.

Charlie Manuel would likely return Polanco to the two-hole and drop Shane Victorino to sixth or seventh. That would make a potent offense even that much more dangerous.

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