PHILLIES SIGN DANYS BAEZ TO 2 YR/$5.25 MILLION DOLLAR DEAL
The loose bolt in the 2009 Phillies arsenal was the bullpen. Call it the curse of the MLB Network, but the stars of The Pen did not live up to the standard they had set in 2008.
In this off season, Chan Ho Park made the decision to pass on the Phillies’ offer (turned out the joke was on him) and Clay Condrey was let go; so other arms had to be brought in.
RAJ looked in the direction of men who had experience closing yet refused to bid Ed Wade-like contracts. The Brandon Lyon signing is the worst contract I can remember in a long time. Fernando Rodney was not worth the money he signed for either. After the dust settled, it was Danys Baez who was set to join the bullpen. Keep in mind, Baez hasn’t been a closer since 2005, so those thinking he can step up if Lidge falters again shouldn’t get their hopes up.
At $5.25 million over two years, the dollars aren’t overwhelming. Was it necessary to sign Baez to a two-year deal considering he missed all of 2008? Eh, maybe not. If the deal was for more money, the years would be a bigger issue; so it is still a low-risk level contract considering the dollars. However if J.C. Romero can’t return to the form that earned him his own multi-year deal, there is a lot of risk in the role that I think Baez is going to be asked to fulfill.
Last year, Baez rebounded from an abysmal 2007 season, in which he posted an 0-6 record with a 6.44 ERA and 1.57 WHIP to go along with 1:1 BB:K ratio by posting a 4-6 clip in 59 games with a 4.02 ERA and a very good 1.13 WHIP.
The strikeouts haven’t been there for Baez over the past few seasons though, and that is a factor that could lead to some problems. When your relievers are putting too many balls into play, nothing good normally comes of it.
Was last year’s 1.13 WHIP a product of good placement of his pitches or was his .232 BAbip luck? Maybe 2006’s .305 BAbip just bad luck?
Baez isn’t going to light the world on fire as he hasn’t had an ERA under 4.00 since 2005, but if he can perform like last year he could definitely fill a prominent role in the bullpen. Just a matter of which Baez did Amaro lock up for two years…
BEERMAN’S GRADE: C