Ruben Amaro Jr. is off to a great start; well, a great start in totally confusing and possibly pissing off Phillies fans everywhere! Amaro & company declined to offer arbitration to ANY of the four eligible players, including Jamie Moyer and Pat Burrell. I expected as much for Tom Gordon and Rudy Seanez, but the other two are surprising. By not offering arbitration to Moyer or Burrell, they have just given every other team in Major League Baseball a super incentive to sign them: If you sign a player who has NOT been offered arbitration, then you do not have to give up any draft picks when signing that player away from his current team. And in the same respect, the Phillies will get nothing if another team picks up one of our players. So I ask then, where is the love for Moyer & Burrell?
The other side of this is that if Moyer or Burrell were actually to go to arbitration, they may have gotten salaries beyond what the Phillies want to pay for them. I guess after getting burned on Ryan Howard’s arbitration last year where he was awarded 10 million dollars, they did not want to take this risk. But I also think that not offering the arbitration may be sending a signal to these players that management does not mind so much if they do not return to the Phillies; and that may turn out to be a real issue. It also makes signing new players more difficult. For example, both A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe (pitchers) were offered arbitration by their teams. So, the Phillies will lose draft picks if they decided to sign one of these guys. And since they now gain nothing for losing Moyer to another team, they will be unlikely to sign a guy to replace him, like Burnett or Lowe, who has been offered arbitration. If they did that, they lose draft picks and Moyer…it’s a double blow.
Last week, the Phillies did sign veteran reliever Mike Koplove; a 32-year old with a career ERA of 3.82 in the majors. However, they expect him to spend a lot of time in AAA, as he did for most of his career. So, why do the Phillies sign a 32-year old minor leaguer? For the same reason they skipped arbitration for Moyer and Burrell this year – the Phillies management are CHEAP. I guess they figured we won our World Series and that will be enough for the next 28 years.
Now say it with me everyone…take a deep breath and let it out….UUGGHHHHHH!!!!!!
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