The Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to a two-year deal with free-agent third baseman Pedro Feliz.
This deal, which was first reported by ESPN.com senior writer Jayson Stark, was finalized Thursday after he passed a physical.
Feliz batted .253 with 20 home runs and 72 RBIs last season with the San Francisco Giants.
The deal includes a team option for 2010, a person familiar with
the negotiations told The Associated Press on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity
because the agreement had not been announced. Feliz will earn about $8.5 million from the contract, according to the AP. With the option and
performance bonuses, the contract could be worth up to $15 million over three years.
Feliz will likely replace the trio of Greg Dobbs, Wes Helms
and Abraham Nunez that the Phillies used last season. 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.
Information from ESPN.com senior writer Jayson Stark and The Associated Press was used in this report.