Follow-Up: Feliz Isn’t The Necessity

Yesterday’s signing of Pedro Feliz showed that Phillies fans are divided, with many of the same points surfacing:

Good deal:

  • Feliz will give you more power than Greg Dobbs and Wes Helms.
  • Dobbs is a much better pinch hitter than third baseman.
  • Feliz’s glove will help the pitching possibly as much as adding a back-end guy.

Bad deal:

  • Feliz has a terrible on-base percentage and hacks at everything.
  • Helms should turn around at least part of his bad play in 2007.
  • Funds should’ve been allocated toward pitching.

Details of the deal have him at $8.5M over two years, with a third-year option that could make him $15M over the three seasons as a Phillie.

My main argument against the deal is it hamstrings the Phillies from making any type of pitching deal. What little money they seemingly had remaining without including Ryan Howard and Eric Bruntlett has now gone toward a position where we could’ve done without what many are calling “a slight upgrade.”

Could the Phils have survived with a 3B platoon of Helms and Dobbs? Yes. This year’s offense will closely mirror last year’s, and even if it falls off, it won’t be anywhere near the NL cellar.

The Phillies weakness is pitching; currently there’s a 45-year-old, a 23-year-old primed for a sophomore slump and a guy who toted a 6.00+ ERA last season in the rotation. The bullpen includes an aging and shaky Tom Gordon, a wildly inconsistent JC Romero and a “who knows what you’re getting” Ryan Madson as soldiers in front of Brad Lidge, who has performed well lately, but in small sample sizes.

I’m nowhere close to confident in our pitching staff. Hopefully they’ll prove me wrong, but finding some experienced arms (David Riske, Jeremy Affeldt) would’ve been strong medicine. Instead, the NL’s No. 1 offense received “a slight upgrade,” while a cellar-grazing staff is hoping for gold from Chad Durbin. One can only hope there’s something in that pot.

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