Outlining the Outfielders – Phillies Nation

Outlining the Outfielders

Before the Thanksgiving holiday, the Phillies purchased the rights to outfielder Chris Snelling from the Tampa Bay Rays. The 25-year old Snelling hit .246 with a single homer and 7 RBIs for the Nationals and Athletics last year but missed most of the season due to a left knee injury. With the prospects of resigning Aaron Rowand become less likely by the day and the trade of Michael Bourn, the Phillies have begun to piece together a potential replacement strategy. Ruben Amaro Jr. summarized the signing by saying, “Chris has always had a great bat, but he has battled some injuries in the past. We feel he will be healthy this coming year and adds a lefthanded hitter and some depth to our outfield.” Still, it is likely that Snelling will have to compete for a spot during Spring Training.Another slightly more prominent outfielder signing over the holiday came with Torii Hunter and the Angels agreeing to a 5-year, $90 million deal. Although Torii was never a top priority for the Phillies, it does show that the talent pool for outfielders is quickly shrinking. This begs the question, do the Phillies need another outfielder? Here’s who is on their current depth chart with some notes on each.Phillies Depth Chart

  • Pat Burrell – probable starting left-fielder; inconsistent but useful at the plate; legs like a rusted Tin Man; 1 year/$14 million remaining on his contract
  • Shane Victorino – probable starting center-fielder, moving over from the right field position last year; dynamic at the plate and in the field; had a 1-year/$410,000 contract last season
  • Jayson Werth – probable starting right-fielder; played 92 games last season in a career year stats-wise; may not an everyday player; had a 1-year/$850,000 contract last season
  • Gregg Dobbs – played 14 games in left-field with 1 error last year; more of a third-baseman or pinch-hitter; had a 1-year/$385,000 contract last season
  • Chris Roberson – speedy yet inexperienced; saw minimal time last season mostly as Burrell’s late-game replacement
  • Chris Snelling – (see above)
  • T.J. Bohn – played 18 games with Seattle in 2006, picked up off waivers from Atlanta

So that’s what we’re working with if the season started today. The front office is still committed to bolstering the pitching staff this off-season, but there wouldn’t be any harm in exploring potential outfielders. Below is a list of free agent outfielders (including Aaron Rowand) courtesy of the ESPN Free Agent Tracker.

Left fielders Center fielders Right fielders
Barry Bonds
Milton Bradley
Luis Gonzalez
Geoff Jenkins
Rob Mackowiak
Orlando Palmeiro
Shannon Stewart
Rondell White
Mike Cameron
Jeff DaVanon
Darin Erstad
Jerry Hairston Jr.
Andruw Jones
Kenny Lofton
Corey Patterson
Aaron Rowand
Cliff Floyd
Shawn Green
Jose Guillen
Bobby Kielty
Trot Nixon
Reggie Sanders
Preston Wilson

Out of the center fielders, Andruw Jones stands out a possibility. He had an off-year last year, which is why he is having a hard time garnering the contract he thinks he deserves; but that might be exactly why he is attractive to the Phils. Jones is asking for $14 million a season and might settle for a 1-year deal for the chance to prove that he’s still got at least half decade in the tank. Although the Phillies are already on the hook for Burrell’s $14 million next season, they were offering Mike Lowell $12 million. Other than that possibility, the Phils might have to work with what they got.

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  1. Sean P.

    November 25, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    With Jones being a possibility, what would be a reasonable amount the Phils could get him for?? 6-8 million? I don’t think he would be worth signing for more since the Phillies already have 4 outfielders. Going from 14 mil to 8 mil is a big drop. Does anyone think that Andruw Jones is worth for a one year deal.

  2. Andrew

    November 25, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    If this club were really commited to winning, not pennypinching, it would have no problem re-signing both Rowand and Lohse. There’s no excuse for the biggest market in baseball with only one team not to be able to accomplish that.

  3. ET90210

    November 26, 2007 at 11:51 pm

    So what does the starting Philly outfield look like at this point? Victorino in CF, Burrell in LF, and Werth in RF? You guys comfortable with that? Ugh.

    Decent rumors over at http://www.mlbfleecefactor.com, btw…

  4. ET90210

    November 26, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    Andruw Jones would certainly be worth a 1-year deal. And no, he wouldn’t come at $6-8M. If you wanted him for 1-year, it would have to start around $15M. But Boras has said he won’t accept a 1-year contract. Can you imagine Jones in that ballpark though? He might hit 50 HR’s again… but there would be a ton of K’s in the middle of that order with him, Howard and Burrell…

  5. Matt Kwasiborski

    November 27, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    Did Hunter sign for 80 or 90M? I can’t seem to find out exactly what he signed for. If he signed for 80M, we will have a chance to sign Rowand. And if you are going to pay Jones 15M, why not sign Rowand and make the commitment? Rowand might go down as a great investment or the next Burrell but I don’t think they can go into 2008 without another solid OF.

    Does anyone else notice the slow down in signing FAs? Hunter signed but that is all. I wonder if the Mitchell report of 11-15 names on it has anything to do with it. I did read where Rowand might be named as well as Jones. Hunter apparently isn’t on the list as he signed already. I do think that report is holding up alot of FA signings.

  6. bwitcraft

    November 27, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    no.1 The Lidge deal was a suprise. I think we are kidding ourselves if we think the phillies are going to shell out $14 million for Jones. It wouldn’t suprise me if we started the season with Burrell, Victorino, and Werth. I would like to see the phillies show some interest in Milton Bradley. sure he’s a head case but man can he hit.

  7. Andrew

    November 27, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    The front office should be willing to fork out more money for Rowand, comforted by the fact that they’ll have $14 million dollars + Thome’s contract + all other expired contracts after 2008…so they won’t have to pay as much after next season. In short, a Burrell-Victorino-Werth outfield is unacceptable.

  8. Richard

    November 28, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    Why should the Phillies fork over lots of money for Lohse or Rowand? Neither are worth probably half of what they’re likely to get.

  9. Matt Kwasiborski

    November 28, 2007 at 5:31 pm

    First, Milton Bradley is probably out all year after tearing his ACL being tackled by his manager.

    Richard- you work undercover for the Phillies owners? You trying to be cheap or planning for the future? The future in CF is Greg Golson, former #1 draft pick. They say he has all 5 tools and finally flourished in the minors. However, Rowand has experience that not too many Phillies can claim- he won a World Series and was a key, key member of that team.

    Simply put, he knows how to win and the Phillies need as many of those players as they can get. He will be over paid but it is unavoidable.

    Lohse still has an outside chance to sign here. I do think the Phils will make a run between him and Silva but are waiting to see what others offer. However, the Lidge trade makes it unlikely he will be back.

  10. Chris.I

    November 29, 2007 at 12:51 am

    I have to disagree…Rowand is an awesome CF! The man runs into walls, and breaks his nose, and for what? To save a run, and possibly save the game. He’s fast, he’s agile, great arm, and not to mention, a beautiful swing at the plate. I don’t know about you, but he’s the man I’d want on my ball club. Don’t be surprised if Rowand signs with another team, and leads the leauge in assists, and averages 35+ hr’s his next 4 years.

    I really hope we don’t re-sign Wolf..He’s no better than Eaton (Okay maybe a ”little” better, but still). I really pray they over-look the situation. Loshe sounds like a good run.

  11. John

    November 29, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    Kyle Lohse and Andruw Jones are both represented by Scott Boras. I think the likelihood of either in a Phillies uniform for 2008 is a longshot.

    It’s rumored that Aaron Rowand is asking for 6 years, $84 million. He’s 30 years old, and despite the Gold Glove award, statistically, he is a below average CF. His 2007 numbers were well-above his career averages. In other words, if you lock into Rowand now, where does that leave you in a couple years when he has Burrell’s legs? If Wolf is resigned, at the very least he gives you an option if Eaton’s shoulder leads him to again be beyond terrible.

    I don’t think the Phillies commitment to win can be judged on their reluctance to resign Rowand and Lohse for the contracts they’re demanding. That’s not pennypinching, it’s good management.

  12. Andrew

    November 29, 2007 at 6:36 pm

    I’m pretty sure the market, not the Phillies, dictates a player’s value. If the Phillies aren’t willing to adapt to an ever-changing market, then that is pennypinching. Offer Rowand the same deal they offered Lowell, and take it from there. But you’re going to lose out to a LOT of teams if you don’t sign a player simply because you don’t agree with the market value. Bad management is signing Adam Eaton to $8 million/year. Bad management is signing Pat Burrell long-term after just one glamorous season. With Rowand, you know what you get, plus intangibles.

    Of course, my preference would be to maintain a solid farm system so that you could avoid the market as much as possible. But like I said, if you’re not willing to evolve, plenty of other teams are.

  13. Jim

    November 30, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    Rowand leading the leauge in assists and averaging 35+ hr’s his next 4 years. That is simply not possible. He has a noodle arm and he will never average 35 HRs over 4 years unless he raids Barry Bonds medicine cabinet. I am tired of Philly fans and the man crush they have on Roward. He is a good CF, not a great one. Philly fans talk as if letting him walk would be along the lines of letting Willie Mays go. He is completely replacable.

  14. Chris.I

    November 30, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    I’m not ”litterally” saying Rowand will average 35 hrs and lead the leauge in assists, What I’m saying is…With our luck and not resigning him, thats what would happen. But for the record, Rowands arm is way above average, and to say he has a ”noodle” arm is absurd. I don’t understand Philly fans. One minute they hate a player, and the next they have them on a high pedistal. If they don’t resign Rowand, they need to just adapt to what they have. Why does Lowell deserve $50 million over Rowand? What makes him so special? He won MVP in the championship? So what? Hes still washed up. I’m glad they didn’t sign him.

  15. Andrew

    November 30, 2007 at 6:57 pm

    I don’t mind replacing Rowand with Victorino, but I do mind having the fickle bats of Werth and Burrell flanking him. If they upgraded in right field, I wouldn’t have as much of an issue with it.

  16. ET90210

    December 1, 2007 at 5:39 pm

    Did you all see the new alterante home uniforms? Ugh.


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