As many of you know, midnight was the deadline for clubs to offer contracts to those eligible for arbitration. The Phils offered deals to Jason Michaels and Brett Myers, but left Endy Chavez out in the cold. Though the details of the offers have not been disclosed, it’s likely Pat Gillick’s purse will take about a $2 million hit on next season. Fortunately there might be some pitchers on the cheap in the Endy Chavez league. Some other notable non-tenders include:
Starters – RHP Wade Miller, RHP Kurt Ainsworth, RHP Ryan Franklin, RHP Josh Fogg
Relievers – RHP Dan Kolb, RHP Chad Bradford, LHP Craig Breslow, RHP Jose Diaz, RHP Joe Borowski, RHP Ramon Ortiz, RHP Dewon Brazelton
Immediately, the Red Sox dropout, Wade Miller, looks promising. However, shoulder troubles and a 4-4 record over 16 starts last season might not dramatically improve the current roster. Dan Kolb out of the bullpen might sound nice. He pitched decently for the Brewers but kinda sucked after being traded to Atlanta. Still, I think he has the potential to significantly improve the Phils pen (significant meaning a slightly more than negligible effect, nothing spectacular). There might be a few other guys worth taking a look at, but as we’ve all come to accept, real improvement for the Phillies squad is not coming through free agency this off-season.
There are plenty of average players out there, but not much that will help the Phils. I’m not sure if Pat Gillick realizes this when responding to the acquisition of Ricardo Rodriguez to close the Padilla deal. "We’re trying to get a little more depth in our pitching staff. We’re trying to give Charlie and Rich Dubee a few more people to make choices from, come spring training." The thing is, the Phils have plenty of arms, both starters and relievers – they’re just not that great. So it’s no longer an issue of quantity but quality. Gillick needs to start picking up players that will improve the pitching staff, even if just marginally, and stop adding to the mess that’s already there.