Phillies Slow to Pull the Trigger

Rapper Jay-Z is famous for saying ‘money ain’t a thing.’

Apparently he’s not on Ruben Amaro’s iPod.

The Phillies declined arbitration to all four free agents available for free agency, including lefty Jamie Moyer.

The team had until midnight Monday to offer arbitration. Without any offers, Philadelphia has forfeited draft pick choices if their two Type A free agents, Moyer and Pat Burrell, decide to leave the team.

Moyer was a shoe-in to be resigned going into Monday’s deadline, but the Phillies may have other plans on their agenda.

The organization has up to 10 players available for arbitration including World Series MVP Cole Hamels, NL MVP runner-up Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth. They may have been slow to pull the trigger Monday to avoid seeing their payroll skyrocket.

Last year the Phillies lost their arbitration battle with Howard paying the slugger well more than they intended at $10 million for the 2008 season.

Expect Howard to want even more this year, and after a lights out playoff performance, Hamels will want major money, as well.

Just because the team didn’t offer arbitration to Moyer and Burrell doesn’t mean the team can’t still resign them. If they did offer arbitration and the two accepted, then they would be automatically signed in 2009.

Burrell made $14 million last season and Moyer was a steal at $7 million.

Now they will have the opportunity to test the market, but the Phillies now have lost their automatic draft picks if the stars leave.

As for Philadelphia’s other two free agents in Tom Gordon and Rudy Seanez, Phillies sources are saying it is unlikely they will come back in 2009.

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