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Eaton In, Wolf and Dellucci Out

The Phillies rotation is experienced a slight makeover yesterday as the Phillies signed Adam Eaton and Randy Wolf skipped town for Los Angeles.  Eaton, who was originally drafted by the Phils in 1996 but traded for Andy Ashby in 1999, is 54-45 with a 4.40 ERA over seven injury-plagued seasons with San Diego and Texas.  The right-hander is expected to round out the rotation with Myers, Lieber, Hamels, and Moyer.  Unlike last season, the Phillies appear to have an Opening Day rotation already set well in advance of the season with very few rookie question marks.  In fact, Baseball Reference compares Eaton to a Brett Myers or Jason Marquis.

Eaton is suspected to have signed a three-year contract worth somewhere in the ballpark of $24 million.  A mutual option for a fourth year is believed to have been negotiated as well.  It breaks down as follows:  Eaton will make $6.875 million in 2007, $7.635 million in ’08, and $8.5 million in ’09. He has a $1 million signing bonus and there is a $500,000 buyout of the mutual option for 2010. There are incentives clauses for each year, with $250,000 for 200 innings pitched, and an extra $250,000 if he surpasses 220 each year.  The deal will become official once Eaton passes a physical today.

Keith Law from ESPN Insider feels Philly may not have been the smartest move for Eaton (or for the Phils for that matter).  

Citizens Bank Park isn’t a very good fit for Eaton, who is a slight fly-ball pitcher with a chronic home run problem. Citizens Bank Park was plus-20 percent for home runs last season and plus-29 percent in ’05; Eaton gave up 11 bombs in just 65 innings in ’06 and has been homer-prone for his entire career despite spending 2004 and 2005 in one of the best pitchers’ parks in baseball (San Diego’s Petco Park).

The consensus is though that Eaton has more potential than what he has shown thus far:  he could be a 20-game winner or another overpriced dud.

Randy Wolf, meanwhile, is returning home to California to pitch with the Dodgers.  Well, not yet anyway.  There is a strong possibility Dodger’s GM, Ned Colletti is stocking up on pitching as trade bait to land a slugger.  Regardless, the Wolf Pack has left the park as Randy signed a one-year deal worth $8 million – not much less than what he was getting in Philly.  Also flying the coop is David Dellucci, who signed with Cleveland for 3-years/$11.5 million.

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