Placido Polanco signed a three-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday worth $18M. The Phils also included a mutual option for a fourth year.
The 34-year-old second baseman was not offered arbitration by the Detroit Tigers, meaning that the Type A free agent will not cost the Phillies a first round pick in the 2010 draft. Polanco has been brought to Philly to play third base, given that Chase Utley is firmly entrenched at second.
Polanco hit .285/.331/.396 for the Tigers last season with 31 doubles, 10 HR, and 72 RBI. He also posted a UZR/150 mark of 11.0 at second base last season. A two-time Gold Glove-winner at second, Polanco has not played third since his 95 games spent in Philadelphia in 2005, but has a career UZR/150 mark of 9.9 at third base.
Polanco would have been a great fit for the Twins at second base and hitting second in the order. The Phillies made a reasonable deal for a servicable veteran, even if they are moving him out of position. I wrote last month that signing Polanco would be a fine goodwill gesture toward keeping Joe Mauer long-term and ensures the team's chances of winning again next season. However, I also stated that they should offer him two years, max, given his age. As Aaron Gleeman points out in Thursday's entry, the Dodgers did not offer Orlando Hudson arbitration, so signing him would also not put the Twins' first round pick at risk. Hudson is younger than Polanco, and would be a perfect fit - along with fellow free agent Felipe Lopez - for the Twins for the next few seasons.