Phillies sign Pedro Feliz

January 28, 2008 9:24:34 PM PST
Free-agent third baseman Pedro Feliz and the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to an $8.5 million, two-year contract.

The deal includes a team option for 2010, a person familiar with the negotiations said Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not been announced. With the option and performance bonuses, the contract could be worth up to $15 million over three years.

Feliz batted .253 with 20 homers and 72 RBIs for San Francisco last season. He's an upgrade over the trio of Greg Dobbs, Wes Helms and Abraham Nunez. Philadelphia's third basemen batted .255 with 11 homers and 76 RBIs last year. Dobbs and Helms remain on the roster.

The Phillies wouldn't confirm a deal has been completed.

"If we get this done, he's an upgrade defensively and he's a run-producer," general manager Pat Gillick said.

Manager Charlie Manuel thinks Feliz can benefit from hitting lower in Philadelphia's potent lineup. Feliz sometimes batted behind Barry Bonds with the Giants.

"We got better," Manuel said. "He's a good defensive player. He's got power. He'll hit probably sixth, seventh, somewhere in there. I think putting him down in our lineup will help him. He was called on to hit in the middle of the lineup in San Francisco. A couple years ago, he might've been pressing to do too much because they had Barry Bonds there."

Feliz had spent his entire eight-year career with the Giants. He's been a full-time starter since 2004, averaging 21 homers and 84 RBIs. Feliz, who turns 33 on April 27, is a career .252 hitter with a .288 on-base percentage.

Shortstop Jimmy Rollins, the reigning NL MVP, is looking forward to playing next to Feliz.

"There won't be too many balls getting through on the left side," Rollins said.

The defending NL East champion Phillies also added outfielders Geoff Jenkins and So Taguchi and pitcher Chad Durbin in free agency this offseason. They acquired closer Brad Lidge and utility man Eric Bruntlett in a trade with Houston.

AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.