Phils, Pence in a tug-of-war; Lidge close to signing with Nats

Arbitration is one of the most frustrating parts of the off season. And the Phillies and right fielder Hunter Pence are both finding this out the hard way.

According to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, both parties are $2.8 million off their amounts for arbitration.

Pence filed for $11.8 million while the Phillies put in for $9 million. He made $6.6 million in 2011.

This isn’t something new for Pence’s agent, who took Pence and the Houston Astros to arbitration last off season.

With the Phillies not sure of what the 28-year-old will get, it has left them in limbo as far as trying to add any more Major League-ready free agents. The Phillies want to avoid arbitration and they’re still trying to work out a good number between the two parties.

LIDGE CLOSE TO WASHINGTON — Jayson Werth couldn’t lobby closer Ryan Madson to come to the Nation’s Capital.

But apparently, he could get another former teammate to join him. In an attempt to recreate the 2008 Phillies, the Nationals are close to signing Brad Lidge, according to Jim Salisbury.

Lidge, 35, pitched four memorable years in Philadelphia, some pleasant and some not so much.

He was acquired in a trade that sent Michael Bourn to Houston, Lidge made an immediate impact on the Phillies. He went 48-for-48 in the regular season and post season combined, including Game 5 of the World Series to win the Phillies their first championship in 28 years.

But shoulder and elbow problems plagued Lidge the remaining three years, killing the velocity on his fastball and making his solidity in the bull pen a real struggle.

Lidge was also a reporter’s dream, talking after any win or loss. He made himself to the media, never shied away from the most sensitive questions and was brutally honest about how he expected himself to perform.

A true gamer, a true closer and a true Philadelphia legend. Happy trails, Lidge.

UPDATE: Lidge officially signed a one-year deal.


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