As expected the Phillies offered arbitration to Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Madson, but surprisingly they also did the same with Raul Ibanez.
Ibanez is 39 years old and was paid $12 million this season to hit just .245 with a .289 on-base percentage and .419 slugging percentage in 144 games, which along with sub par defense in left field made him one of the worst regulars in the league.
He seems highly unlikely to get a multi-year offer on the open market, in which case accepting the Phillies’ arbitration offer and locking them into a one-year deal for a significant salary would seem like a no-brainer for Ibanez.
However, it’s possible that the Type B free agent has some sort of agreement with the Phillies to decline the arbitration offer as a favor and basically give them a free draft pick (assuming he signs elsewhere). If not, then the decision by general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. just doesn’t make any sense.
Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:
CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos
SP Yovani Gallardo
With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.
LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar
SP David Price
After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.
Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.
Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.
Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.