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Give Us Your Poor, Your Tired, Your Unsigned, Nontendered Masses

Feb 15, 2007, 11:07 AM EDT

With the winter meetings coming to an unproductive end, and less than attractive options in the high-end but mediocre free agent market, the Phillies may turn their interest toward lesser free agents and the players who were nontendered by their clubs, thus hitting the open market. Two names have been mentioned above the others as possible future Phils: Geoff Jenkins and Akinori Otsuka. Jenkins would serve to platoon with Jayson Werth in right, and reliever Akinori Otsuka (if healthy) could do pretty much anything in the bullpen.

Jenkins is coming off of a fairly shabby 2007 season in terms of average (.255), but he continued to show some pop, with 21 homers. However, a look at his career numbers and when he peaked and declined makes me wonder if he’s a Straight Cash Homie. Perhaps it’s unfair to speculate as such, but we know a lot of numbers were inflated during that time period, and hey, what choice do we have but to wonder about anyone playing in this era? The inconsistent, lower-than-anticipated production we’ve seen from so many players, especially last season, makes me clueless as to what we can expect next year.

Most likely Otsuka would start the season (if healthy) as the setup man for Brad Lidge, but whereas Lidge can be somewhat erratic, Otsuka has been a steady source of saves when closing in Texas (again, when healthy). Arm troubles ended Otsuka’s second half prematurely last season, but early reports have him recovering well. For most of the last two seasons, I’d have rather had Otsuka closing than Lidge. Still, you have to wonder why the Rangers are always so willing to part with him or not use him as the closer (Cordero, then Gagne).


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