UPDATE: Phillies are expected to sign Polanco for a deal worth 3 years, $18 million according to Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated.
The Phillies have serious interest in bringing back Placido Polanco to play third base next year. Multiple sources told MLB.com on Wednesday that the Phillies have been very aggressive in their pursuit of Polanco, a free agent who played for Philadelphia from 2002-05.
If the Phillies were to sign him, they would have to cough up a first-round pick because he is a Type-A player, meaning that the orginazation he previously played for will get compinsated for his loss. The Phillies were also targeting Adrian Beltre and Mark DeRosa, two candidates I strongly wanted to see here too.
Last season, Polanco batted 285 with 10 home runs and 72 RBI’s with Detroit. He hit .341 in 2007 and .307 in ’08. His average has slightly dropped the past two years but with moving back to the hitter-friendly park in Philly, his power numbers could rise a bit. He could very well bat .300 with 15-20 homers and 75-80 RBI’s next year and he would be an instant upgrade.
At this stage in his career, Polanco has no problem switching to third, something he didn’t want to do four years ago when Chase Utley turned into the star he is today. Polanco brings a great glove, winning two Gold Gloves in the last three seasons at second, and has chemistry with Ryan Howard, Utley, and Jimmy Rollins already.
NOTE: In Todd Zolecki’s article, he said Polanco could bat second in the line up. This is tough because Shane Victorino produces his best in the spot but Polanco gets on base more than Victorino and Rollins.