Phillies purchase Lidge insuranceby Eric Schwartz
He isn’t Placido Palonco and he certainly isn’t Roy Halladay. Maybe that’s why the Philadelphia Phillies signing of Danys Baez has gone so under the radar. We’ll that and the whole “Eagles-Cowboys thing.”
Despite the lack of recognition of the move, it was just what the Phillies needed.
While he is not coming off one of his best years – a 4-6 record with a 4.02 ERA with the Orioles – Baez comes with a truck-load of closing experience.
The Phillies found out just how valuable that can be last year when Brad Lidge struggled and Charlie Manuel could not find anyone else to do the job. Ryan Madson had his moments, while Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre failed in limited samplings in that role.
We don’t know if we will get the 2008 or 2009 version of Lidge this season, so having Baez as an option provides an insurance policy that was previously lacking.
For his career Baez has 114 saves, with his best years coming from 2003-2006 when he saved 96 games with the Indians and Rays. He will make a nice chunk of change over the next two years as the Phillies inked him for $5.25 million.
If all goes well for the Phils, they will have acquired another set-up man to complement Madson and J.C. Romero, who will get the ball to a Lights-Out Lidge. Or if Lidge falters, the Phillies have a guy who can step in and get the job done.
Either way this move will prove much bigger than it currently seems.