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Monday, November 09, 2009

The Phillies Say Goodbye (for now) to Pedro Feliz

This was pretty predictable. The guy is a great fielder, but he'll be 35, didn't hit for power in Citizens Bank Park, didn't hit all that well against lefties (and he's righthanded; the other guys in the lineup have a better excuse -- most of them are lefthanded), and had a terrible on-base percentage. A .306 OBP just can't continue to cut it for a team that expects to contend again for the World Series.

The Phillies made a similar move last year with Pat Burrell. Burrell cannot run, his range is limited, and he hit woefully last August and September and then in the post-season (in contrast, after the All-Star break in '07, he had a great OBP -- one of the best in the NL -- until mid-September, when his numbers plummeted). Burrell was only 32, but his best days were behind him, and the Phillies released him despite some significant fan sentiment not to do so. Feliz doesn't enjoy similar fan sentiment (he didn't do anything wrong, but it says something when he was the only starter not to have a "jersey t-shirt" with his name and number on it available for sale). Feliz knocked in the winning run in Game 5 of the 2008 World Series, but he hit woefully this post-season. In order for the Phillies to beat the Yankees (or anyone else, for that matter) in the 2010 World Series, they'll need an upgrade at third.

Now, that doesn't mean that Feliz won't be back. It just means that the Phillies declined to exercise a $5 million option for him to return. Right now, they'll explore the likes of Chone Figgins, Troy Glaus, Placido Polanco, Adrian Beltre and Mark DeRosa, and in the papers this morning GM Ruben Amaro said that other teams had approached the Phillies about trading their third baseman to them. I'd be interested in seeing who the other teams are.

At any rate, thus far the Phillies are making sensible moves. The big question is what they've determined their payroll to be for the 2010 season.


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