The Phillies have declined their $5.5 million option on third baseman Pedro Feliz, which means that the 34-year-old will become a free agent and likely won't return to the Phils in 2010.
Feliz quietly hit 12 home runs and drove in 82 runs last year batting in the seven-hole of the Phils' potent lineup. He was the team's best hitter with runners in scoring position, hitting for a .336 average.
In two seasons in Philadelphia, Feliz slugged 26 homers and knocked in 140 runs.
I always thought of him as a steady player who would be good for a few homers, but would make his biggest impact playing the field, which he he did. Feliz's glove work is among some of the best in the league.
He was by far the best third baseman that the Phils have had since Scott Rolen.
By not picking up his option, it shows that Ruben Amaro Jr. finds that there are a few options available on either the trade or free agent market who could provide either more or the same production at a cheaper price.
Here's a look at who's out there and where they played last season:
Chone Figgins, Los Angeles Angels — Figgins hit .298 last season with five homers and 52 RBI, but he's a true lead-off hitter. The 32-year-old has hit .301 and has a .386 on-base percentage over the past three seasons while stealing 117 bases.
Adrian Beltre, Seattle Mariners — Beltre had seven homers and drove in 44 runs in 111 games last year with Seattle. His average was Feliz-like, and he has a good glove, but he has had a poor injury history. He has a lot of pop in his bat despite only slugging eight dingers for the M's last year.
Mark DeRosa, Cleveland Indians/St. Louis Cardinals — DeRosa has been on the Phillies wish list for a long time. They tried to sign him when he was a free agent, but he decided to go to the Cubs. DeRosa hit .250 with the Cards and Tribe last year while smacking 23 balls out of the park and bringing in 78 runs.
Placido Polanco, Detroit Tigers — Remember me? Polanco came over to the Phils in the Rolen trade with St. Louis, but was later traded to the Motor City because of Chase Utley's emergence. Polanco hit .285 with 10 homers and 72 RBI last year. He hasn't played third since 2005.
Dan Uggla, Florida Marlins — Acquiring Uggla would have to come by means of a trade. He plays second base, which some may see as a problem with Utley occupying that space.
But some think Uggla could benefit by moving to the hot corner. The 29-year-old hit 31 homers and drove in 90 runs, but doesn't hit for a great average as he hit only .243 with the Fish.
The question to you, who should be the Phillies third baseman in the 2010 season?
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