UPDATE (TUESDAY, 12:29AM): The Phillies have declined to offer arbitration to either Pat Burrell or Jamie Moyer. This means that, even though both qualified as Type A free agents, the Phils will not receive the two draft picks associated with the title should the two sign elsewhere.
The moves are puzzling, and frankly it just feels wrong.
If the Phils wanted Moyer back so badly, why not offer arbitration? A one-year deal is far less risky than whatever else the Phillies and Moyer must be discussing.
Perhaps this signals the departure of Moyer after all. That would certainly be an unexpected turn of events.
Declining Burrell’s arbitration is kind of understandable. He was due for a likely raise on 2008’s ~$14M salary, and the Phils haven’t seemed totally into resigning him.
Either way, no draft picks for us.
The Phils have until midnight tonight to offer arbitration to four free agents: Pat Burrell, Jamie Moyer, Tom Gordon, and Rudy Seanez.
I wouldn’t lose any sleep over the last two coming back.
Reports have conflicted over Burrell’s situation. Some have said the club will not offer him arbitration, and yet others disagree. Personally, given the way Burrell has publicly stated that he wants multiple years, I doubt there’s much risk in offering arbitration to him. Plus, if the Phils don’t offer, they forfeit the chance at two draft picks. The minors may be better than they were a few years ago, but that’s not something you want to let slip through your fingers so easily.
Offering Moyer arbitration is a no-brainer. He wants to come back, the Phils want him back, and even as a failsafe he’s a Type A free agent himself, like Burrell. I’ve been of the opinion that Moyer won’t come close to replicating 2008, and the Phils should seriously consider trying for the draft picks. That avenue, though, closes off if Moyer accepts.
Assuming Moyer accepts, the Phils have a starting rotation of Hamels/Myers/Moyer/Blanton to trot out in ’09. That fifth spot will likely be between four pitchers: Kyle Kendrick, Adam Eaton, J.A. Happ, and Carlos Carrasco. I’d put my money on Happ to win the job. Look for Kendrick to be optioned to Lehigh Valley, for Carrasco to start in Lehigh as well, and for Adam Eaton to exercise his hitchhiking thumb.