Earlier today, the Phils have announced that Cole Hamels had earlier today signed a one-year contract worth $15 million dollars, thus avoiding arbitration. Hamels, who is the number three-man in the Phils’ starting rotation, in 2011 had a 14-9 record with a 2.79 ERA, as he pitched in 32 games, all but one of which was as a starter. He pitched in 216 innings, striking out 194 batters, while walking only 44. Hamels threw 10 complete, while pitching four shut outs. Carrer-wise, his record is 74-54 with an ERA of 3.39. Although he would become eligible to enter the free agent market after this season, it is hoped that at some point during the season that the Phils will sign Hamels to a multi-year extension. Let keep our fingers crossed on that people.
The Phils have also avoided arbitration with Wilson Valdez, who had signed a new contract for one season, worth $930,000. Valdez, who had played second base, third base and shortstop, last year appeared in 99 games, batting .249 (68 for 273), with 14 doubles, 4 triples and 1 home runs, while knocking in 30 runs.
That leaves just Hunter Pence to sign to a contract before both sides would have to face an arbitrator. I think that it can be done.
The Phils have announced that they have avoided arbitration with Kyle Kendrick as they have reached a one-year contract with the starter-reliever worth $3.585 million dollars.
Kendrick, who had started the 2011 season in the bullpen, would rejoin the starting rotation because of injuries to both Joe Blanton and Roy Oswalt. During the season, he would appear in 34 games, 15 of them as a starter, ending the year with an 8-6 record, with an ERA of 3.22. In 114.2 innings pitched, he would strike out 59 batters, which walking only 30, receiving a WHIP of 1.22.
With Kendrick’s signing, that leaves only Cole Hamels, Hunter Pence and Wilson Valdez arbitration-eligible , with the fanbase hoping that Hamels will be nailed down to a multi-year contract.
Since the last time I’d written something here, the Phils have come to terms with both Ben Francisco (January 15) for one year for $1.175 million dollars with performance bonuses and with Kyle Kendrick (January 18) for $2.45 million, also for one year, to avoid arbitration with both players, thus having all of their players signed up for at least one season. Last season, 2010, in 88 games (28 of which were starts), Francisco batted .268 (48 for 179), as he hit thirteen doubles and six home runs and knocked in 28 RBIs. He also went .282 pinch hitting (11-39), hitting three doubles and knocking in 7 RBIs. This season, Francisco will be used in a platoon with Dom Brown in right field to replace Jayson Werth, who had during the off-season signed a long term contract with the Washington Nationals. Meanwhile, Kendrick last season pitched in 33 games (a career-high), 31 of which were starts, as he went 11-10 with an ERA of 4.73, as he pitched in 180.2 innings and struck out 84 batters (both career highs) while walking 49, who, depending on what the team might do, will either be their long man coming out of the bullpen, or fighting for the fifth starter spot with Vance Worley.
As the Phils prepare for the start of spring training next month in Clearwater, Florida, they are looking at their options, thanks to their present embarrassment of riches with their starting pitching staff, which at the moment consists of Roy Halladay (Ace), Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt (who at the moment are being nicknamed either the Four Aces, R2C2 or the Fantastic Four by the fans) and Joe Blanton, as they decide whether they really need to trade Kentucky Joe to another team that needs a good starter to help give them some salary flexibility, or to just keep Joe, and use him as their fifth starter, knowing that he so far have had a good track record pitching for the Phils during the two plus seasons since they’d gotten him from the Oakland A’s to help them down the stretch towards their 2008 World Series Championship. My opinion is that they should hang onto Blanton, unless he brings in a good righthanded bat that’ll help the team in the line-up. Either way, he would be helping the team, especially as the fifth starter, since he is presently seen as a good third or fourth starter on most teams.
Lastly, Charlie Manuel’s contract is coming up this season. Although it is more than likely that the Phils will give him an extension, Charlie had announced on WIP radio yesterday, when asked about it, that he would like a three year contract, and prefer that he signed the contract extension as soon as possible so that it won’t become a distraction for the ballclub during the season, although he does see himself as signing a contract at some point this season. Me, sign him up as soon as possible Ruben. Uncle Chuck seems to know what he’s doing with the players, and we all know that they like playing for him.