The Phillies worked out a 2-year, $5.5 million dollar contract on Monday with bullpen pitcher Jose Contreras. In 2010, Contreras served a variety of roles on the bullpen, including filling in for Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson when they were injured. Contreras appeared in 64 games and ended the season with a 3.34 ERA.
The only real concern with this signing might be Contreras’ age; he is 38 now and will be 40 by the end of his contract. But the Phillies have had some good luck dipping into the senior player pool in the past (Jamie Moyer, for one) so it may be a non-issue.
The Phillies also added Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg to the organization; he will manage the AAA Iron Pigs team. Sandberg was originally drafted by the Phillies in 1978 but played only 13 games for the Phils in 1981 before they traded him in the off-season to the Cubs in what remains one of the worst trades in baseball history. Sandberg went on to have an amazing 15-year career with the Cubs, landing him in the Hall of Fame.
Almost 29 years later, Sandberg is back where he belongs. After the Cubs declined to give him the job as team manager since Lou Piniella retired, Sandberg made his way back to Philly. The Cubs may have made a huge mistake. While that does not really make up for the disastrous trade back in 1982, their loss will still be our gain. And when Charlie Manuel retires, who knows? It could be Sandberg at the helm.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography