Friday, December 04, 2009

Blogs about the Phillies give thumbs down to Polanco addition at third


Polanco checks the fit on his new Phillies hat as Amaro welcomes him to CBP


        The big news on Thurday, December 3rd 2009 was that the Phillies have signed Placido Polanco for a three year contract for $18 million dollars to play third base for them. The thrill didn’t reach Phillies themed blogs though and by the end of the day, most blogs gave a sour impression on the deal.

       Polanco was a former Phillies player who left the team in after 2004 and has been with the Tigers for the past 5 seasons. The highlight year of his tenure with the Tigers was in ‘07 when he was an All Star and won a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award. He also won a Gold Glove last year, but this was at second base, not third base as the Phillies plan to utilize Polanco at.

        Here’s a list of stats from his last 5 seasons with Detroit:


Year
Age
Tm
G
PA
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
SB
CS
BB
SO
BA
2005
29
DET
86
378
343
58
116
20
2
6
36
4
3
21
16
.338
2006
30
DET
110
495
461
58
136
18
1
4
52
1
2
17
27
.295
2007
31
DET
142
641
587
105
200
36
3
9
67
7
3
37
30
.341
2008
32
DET
141
629
580
90
178
34
3
8
58
7
1
35
43
.307
2009
33
DET
153
675
618
82
176
31
4
10
72
7
2
36
46
.285
12 Seasons
1465
6017
5511
826
1671
279
30
90
579
71
30
314
391
.303
162 Game Avg.
162
665
609
91
185
31
3
10
64
8
3
35
43
.303
DET (5 yrs)
632
2818
2589
393
806
139
13
37
285
26
11
146
162
.311
PHI (4 yrs)
344
1510
1359
215
403
71
4
38
160
23
8
95
100
.297
NL (8 yrs)
833
3199
2922
433
865
140
17
53
294
45
19
168
229
.296
AL (5 yrs)
632
2818
2589
393
806
139
13
37
285
26
11
146
162
.311
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/3/2009.


Here's the numbers on Pedro Feliz, who Polanco is replacing, from the past 5 seasons:

Year
Tm
Lg
G
PA
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
SB
CS
BB
SO
BA
2005
SFG
NL
156
615
569
69
142
30
4
20
81
0
2
38
102
.250
2006
SFG
NL
160
644
603
75
147
35
5
22
98
1
1
33
112
.244
2007
SFG
NL
150
590
557
61
141
28
2
20
72
2
2
29
70
.253
2008
PHI
NL
133
463
425
43
106
19
2
14
58
0
0
33
54
.249
2009
PHI
NL
158
625
580
62
154
30
2
12
82
0
1
35
68
.266
10 Seasons
1165
4115
3845
451
976
197
23
135
558
12
11
217
622
.254
162 Game Avg.
162
572
535
63
136
27
3
19
78
2
2
30
86
.254
SFG (8 yrs)
874
3027
2840
346
716
148
19
109
418
12
10
149
500
.252
PHI (2 yrs)
291
1088
1005
105
260
49
4
26
140
0
1
68
122
.259
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/3/2009.


       At Fightin Phillies blog, I want to keep an open mind about Polanco, but it just doesn’t add up to giving him a three year deal when you could have had Pedro Feliz, who I think is a better player at third base than Polanco, either a $5.5 million last year extension or a $12 million two year deal for him, after all he was the veteran of two World Series years by the team. Polanco may hit for better average, but he doesn't have the RBI and HR power that Feliz has or arguably the better glove at third base. Feliz hasn’t been as bad as he has been treated by the Phillies, but now that is all history. I must join the Phillies blogs that give a thumbs down to this deal and the Brian Schneider signing. Consider these blogs and what they wrote about the deal:

                Crashburn Alley:
        
The signing of Polanco, given the apparent desire to pennypinch, is confusing because Amaro did not give the market a chance to play out, much like last season with Ibanez. The only reason one should jump out so quickly to sign a player is if he is going to be pursued heavily by many other teams or if the player can be signed cheaply. Polanco doesn’t fall under either criteria; he is simply a mediocre infielder who hasn’t played third base since 2005, and hasn’t played 200 innings at the position since 2002.
As for his production, Polanco has regressed offensively since 2007. His wOBA has gone from .371 to .339 to .321. For comparison, in ‘09, Justin Morneau had a .371 wOBA, Erick Aybar was at .339, and Kurt Suzuki finished at .321. As his wOBA has fallen, so has his walk rate, and his strikeout rate has risen. His OBP fell over 50 points from ‘07, which should be an alarming trend considering they did not sign Polanco for his power.
Defensively, Polanco is good… at second base. He won Gold Gloves at second base in ‘07 and ‘09, matching up with his UZR/150 of 12.0 and 11.0 respectively. However, the Phillies signed him to play third base, a position he hasn’t played since ‘05. The only season in which there is a large sample of innings and UZR data, 2002, Polanco had a UZR/150 of 7.8, which isn’t bad. A lot changes in eight years, though. It’s unlikely Polanco still has the range, agility, and arm strength he had eight years ago.




and this by  Philliesflow.com:

The Phillies have signed Placido Polanco to a three-year, $18 million contract. Polanco will play third for the Phils in 2010.
I think this is bad news for Phillies fans, but confused by the fact that Polanco is a very good baseball player. The problem is that he’s a good baseball player because he plays second base.
Here are some of the things that bother me about the idea of signing Polanco to play third base:
He’s not a third baseman. I don’t think there’s much of an argument there. Polanco has not appeared at third base in any of the past four years. On the plus side, he is a very good second baseman and has played more than 2,400 innings at third over his career, so it seems pretty likely he can give the Phillies good defense at third. I feel a little less sure about that than I would about someone who actually provided some team good defense at third over the past four years, though.



       and this sort of 'back door' approval of the deal with reservation by TheGoodPhight.com:

   My first reaction here is despair--well, actually, it's self-flagellation for suggesting that it might be time to trust the Phillies. On its face, this just doesn't make a lot of sense: the team is about to overpay for the decline stage of a player with very little power or speed, being asked to shift positions no less--all while two clearly better options, Chone Figgins and Adrian Beltre, remain on the market. That said, if both of those players receive deals for three years or longer, and get paid upwards of $10 million a year, the Polanco contract makes some sense. But those are big ifs, and even if true it doesn't make the Phils a better team on the field in 2010.


      We're the Team To Beat: Phillies vs Mets blog takes the move really negatively:

          I absolutely hate the Polanco signing. He has great value as a second baseman, but he simply doesn't have the bat to play third. He is one dimensional singles hitter with little speed and above average defense. Polanco registered an OPS of .727 in 2009, which would rank sixth lowest among third baseman. His homerun total (10) ranks third lowest, sadly tied with David Wright. You can make the argument that Polanco will be a better fit to a Phillies lineup that already has its fair share of power hitters. And when you put his numbers side by side with Pedro Feliz, it appears to be a push. But Pedro Feliz is a gold glove caliber third baseman. Polanco is no slouch with the glove, but he is a true second baseman. And you can't look past the fact that Feliz was a member of the 2008 championship team. It's also hard to overlook the fact that better free agent third baseman are on the market. As far as I'm concerned, this is a big mistake. The Phillies do have a fantastic track record when it comes to making moves like this one, but I feel like they are moving in the wrong direction this time.


               

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