During the weekend, after signing Raul Ibenez to a three-year contract, pending a physical, the Phillies went towards locking in the ten players who they would be involved with in salary arbitration talks. They have concluded one-year deals with Eric Bruntlett, thus locking in the versatile infielder, as they will need him to help cover second base during Chase Utley’s rehab from hip surgery, and with Clay Condrey, their long relief pitcher. The Phillies have also offered contracts to Joe Blanton, Chad Durbin, Ryan Madson, Cole Hamels, Greg Dobbs, Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth, in the process avoiding, as much as they can, the need to go to salary arbitration talks with each player, thus keeping them on the ballclub, one way or the other, through 2009. This, to me, sounds like a set of smart moves on the Phillies’ part, looking like they might have finally learn their lesson from past mistakes, depending, of course, on what they have actually offered the remaining eight arbitration eligible players.
The Phillies have also signed Scott Mathieson, a 24 years old pitcher who is still rehabbing from Tommy John Surgery, to a minor league contract, adding more depth to the organization, pitching wise.