Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Phils take the plunge, signing Saunders for $9M for 1 year, maybe more



Saunders joins the Phils in 2017, he had a monster ALCS last year batting .429 in 5 games but before that, not too much but he was an All-Star last year


The Phillies GM and team President must be under some sort of rule that they don't go past a one-year contract with the signing of any free agent player that they look at.

The team hired another high priced option for 1-year in Michael Saunders from the Toronto Blue Jays. Never heard of Saunders? You're not alone, he's not a household word and it completely amazes me that we'll be paying him $9M for 2017 with an option for 2018 at $11M.

In 2016, Saunders made $2.9M in Toronto, that's about right for a player of his caliber, how in the world do the Phillies think he's worth $9M for a year. Yes, the Phillies will be paying him in 2017 almost what he's made in his entire career but why us? The only explanation is that the team doesn't think Saunders year was a fluke, but his batting average has never been really good his whole career.

A few years ago, Michael Saunders had many years with the Seattle Mariners organization, it ended there after the many injuries that Saunders had piled up, left the Mariners with little to no options to set him free. Here's an excerpt from an article in the Seattle Times from 2014:

"Michael Saunders has dealt with injuries for much of his big league career. It’s not a knock, it’s a fact.  They are injuries born out of hustle and hard play. But they still keep him off the field and have hindered his progress in becoming an every day player.
Fair or unfair, the perception of a player changes when he misses extended parts of seasons on the disabled list, particularly for a manager who wants to rely on him daily.
“I think his numbers tell you that he is,” McClendon said when asked about Saunders being an every day player. “But the problem is he’s not out there every day. There’s no better joy for a manager than to be able to write a name into the lineup every day. When a guy is on the DL, it’s tough. It throws everything out of whack.”

Saunders was passed up on by many teams looking for a hitter who is left-handed in the off-season this year, he didn't have any takers almost a month left to Spring Training. Why? Because teams were afraid to take a chance on someone that has been injured so much during his career and he went into a real bad funk in the second half of the season last year batting just .178 in the 2nd half of the sesaon. 

Here's some numbers tallied by Saunders over his career:



Year Age Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SO BA OBP
2009 22 SEA 46 122 13 27 1 3 0 4 40 .221 .258
2010 23 SEA 100 289 29 61 11 2 10 33 84 .211 .295
2011 24 SEA 58 161 16 24 5 0 2 8 56 .149 .207
2012 25 SEA 139 507 71 125 31 3 19 57 132 .247 .306
2013 26 SEA 132 406 59 96 23 3 12 46 118 .236 .323
2014 27 SEA 78 231 38 63 11 3 8 34 59 .273 .341
2015 28 TOR 9 31 2 6 0 0 0 3 10 .194 .306
2016 ★ 29 TOR 140 490 70 124 32 3 24 57 157 .253 .338
8 Yrs 702 2237 298 526 114 17 75 242 656 .235 .309
162 Game Avg. 162 516 69 121 26 4 17 56 151 .235 .309
SEA (6 yrs) 553 1716 226 396 82 14 51 182 489 .231 .301
TOR (2 yrs) 149 521 72 130 32 3 24 60 167 .250 .336
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/17/2017.

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