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News » Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2008-12-02

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2008-12-02

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2008-12-02
It hasn't happened yet, but the Phillies remain hopeful that it will. Even if they have to dole out a multiyear contract, they're optimistic that Jamie Moyer, who celebrated his 46th birthday Nov. 20, will return to their rotation next season.

Just in case, though, they're forming contingency plans.

The Phillies reportedly have spoken with the agents for pitchers Derek Lowe and A.J. Burnett, both of whom are expected to generate interest from multiple teams this winter before signing lucrative, multiyear contracts. It's unclear how either pitcher would fit into the Phillies' budget.

Lowe, a 35-year-old right-hander, was 14-11 with a 3.24 ERA last season for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He pitched particularly well down the stretch, going 5-1 with a 0.94 ERA in his last nine regular-season starts to help the Dodgers win the NL West. He's represented by aggressive agent Scott Boras, who reportedly is seeking at least a five-year, $75 million payout and has garnered interest from the New York Yankees.

Burnett, a 31-year-old right-hander, went 18-10 with a 4.07 ERA with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Phillies expressed some interest in Burnett before the July 31 trade deadline, but they had concerns about his injury history and his complicated contract. He's believed to be seeking at least a five-year deal.

Moyer played a vital role in the Phillies' second consecutive NL East crown. He led the team with 16 wins and posted a 3.71 ERA in 33 starts despite being the oldest player in the majors. After losing his start in each of the first two rounds of playoffs, Moyer pitched well and took a no-decision in Game 3 of the World Series, the first World Series start in his 22-year career.

The Phillies are interested in retaining Moyer, who prefers to return to Philadelphia. But he's also seeking a multiyear contract, and the Phillies have reservations about guaranteeing more than one year to a pitcher with as many miles on his arm as Moyer.

If they're able to re-sign Moyer, the Phillies would return their top four starting pitchers -- ace lefty Cole Hamels, right-handers Brett Myers and Joe Blanton and Moyer. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has indicated that the Phillies would turn their attention to the bullpen and left field and allow youngsters J.A. Happ, Kyle Kendrick and Carlos Carrasco to battle for the No. 5 starter spot in spring training.

But if Moyer goes elsewhere, the Phillies would have to find a pitcher to replace him.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: December 2, 2008

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