Jamie Moyer missed the final two months of the season with an elbow injury that he aggravated while pitching winter ball in the Dominican Republic earlier this month, which combined with his status as a free agent led many to assume that he’d be calling it a career at age 48.
However, yesterday Moyer announced plans to undergo elbow surgery with an eye toward returning for a 25th season in 2012, writing “we are cautiously optimistic superman will make a comeback!” on the Facebook page for his family’s charity.
Moyer was still capable of getting big-league hitters out before the injury, going 9-9 with a 4.84 ERA in 19 starts for the Phillies, but he’ll be 49 years old by the time spring training rolls around in 2012 and no pitcher in the past 40 seasons has appeared in a game at that age.
In fact, Satchell Paige, Hoyt Wilhelm, and Jack Quinn are the only pitchers in baseball history to take the mound at 49 or older and they combined to throw a total of just 44 innings. Toss in the normal question marks associated with going under the knife and the odds are stacked pretty heavily against Moyer pitching again. Of course, the odds were also stacked pretty heavily against someone with just 34 career wins through age 30 still being around at age 47, let alone with 267 victories.
At this point no one seems to believe Philadelphia has any chance of re-signing Jayson Werth and Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports that the Phillies “have done what one source described as ‘extensive’ groundwork on a potential deal for” White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin.
As a right-handed, power-hitting corner outfielder Quentin makes sense as a possible replacement for Werth, except the Phillies have stud prospect Domonic Brown ready to take over for him in right field anyway.
Quentin could potentially platoon with Brown or Raul Ibanez, starting primarily versus left-handed pitching, but between the cost to acquire him from the White Sox and a likely $5 million salary via arbitration he’d make for an awfully pricey part-time player.
Stark notes that the Phillies may also have some interest in Jeff Francoeur and Jermaine Dye, both of whom make more sense than Quentin as platoon players.
Jose Contreras and the Phillies have finalized the two-year contract extension that was reported over the weekend. He’ll get $5.5 million for two seasons and according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com the Phillies also have a team option for 2013.
Based on his 2010 performance alone Contreras is certainly worth the investment, as he thrived in his first full season as a reliever by going 6-4 with a 3.34 ERA and 57/16 K/BB ratio in 57 innings. However, he seemed to wear down somewhat in the second half and turns 39 years old next month.
Any multi-year commitment to a 39-year-old pitcher is a huge risk and the presence of a third-year team option is sort of amusing. What are the chances of the Phillies wanting to exercise their option on a 41-year-old Contreras come 2013?
Because of a unique clause in his contract Hisanori Takahashi became a free agent when the Mets failed to sign him to a new contract by November 5 and now Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports that the Phillies are interested in signing him.
Philadelphia is already said to be close to a two-year deal to keep Jose Contreras, but the Phillies could view Takahashi as the left-handed replacement for J.C. Romero, whose $4.5 million option for 2011 was declined last week.
Takahashi split his rookie season between the bullpen and rotation but had most of his success as a reliever, going 6-2 with a 2.04 ERA in 41 relief outings compared to 4-4 with a 5.01 ERA in 12 starts.
New York reportedly offered Takahashi a one-year deal to stay, but various sources have suggested that the 35-year-old southpaw is looking for a two- or three-year contract worth around $5 million per season. He may have a tough time getting that much money for that many seasons, but the Phillies are apparently willing to sign Contreras to a multi-year deal and he’s actually four years older than Takahashi.
Over the weekend Phillies right-hander Kyle Kendrick married former three-time “Survivor” contestant Stephenie LaGrossa.
People magazine has all the sappy details, such as the couples’ two dogs acting as flower girls and what dress LaGrossa wore, but I’m more interested in the fact that two-fifths of the Phillies’ rotation is now married to “Survivor” contestants.
Four years ago Cole Hamels married Heidi Strobel, who famously shed her clothes for some chocolate in Season 6 of the reality show and ended up finishing fourth.
Perhaps, much like Billy Beane and the A’s searching for on-base percentage and good players who may not look good in a uniform back when Moneyball came out, Ruben Amaro Jr. and the Phillies have discovered that pitchers married to women from reality shows are the latest market inefficiency.