All eight Phils who are eligible for arbitration have just filed, including Ryan Howard, 2008 NLCS and WS MVP Cole Hamel and Shane Victorino. All players must now tell the Phils how much they think they’re worth by this upcoming Tuesday, and any of those that don’t come to a quick decision with the ballclub, will have their case sent to a panel of three arbitrators for February 1-21.
In my opinion, I believe that except for maybe Howard, the players and the Phils will quickly settled their monetary differences and sign contracts for the next several seasons. With Howard, if last year is any indication, the team may decide to try their luck again with arbitration. While I think this might end up being another bad move on management’s part, I can see their point because of Howard’s low batting average and the large number of strikeouts he has made, in spite of his ability to knock in runs and hit home runs. But, I will say this, if the Phillies’ front office stiff Hamel, after asking him to pitch a full season without an injury, which he did, by helping the team win it all in the post-season, by not giving him a several seasons contract, then they will only have themselves to blame if he decides to try free agency the first chance he gets. Hey, front office, listen up, lock him in, now!!!!
Also, in an Alden Gonzalez article that was posted recently on Phillies.com, J.A. Happ has said that he is ready to compete for the last spot in the Phillies’ starting rotation, as he goes up against Chan Ho Park, Kyle Kendrick, and prospect Carlos Carrasco, among others for that spot.
I wish Happ luck on getting the spot. But if he doesn’t, I’m sure he will continue what he was doing at Lehigh Valley, while waiting to be called back if something goes wrong with one of the starters on the main squad.