A special thanks to Cubs GM Jim Spendry(er..Hendry) for giving Alfonso Soriano that ridiculous eight year deal, thus assuring he wont be coming to Philly. I know many wre excited about the possibility of Fonzie coming to Philly to protect Ryan Howard in the lineup. However, upon further review, he is not worth committing to for eight years at soon to be 31 years of age. He will be 38 when his contract runs out. Is he a better option than Pat Burrell? Yes, I still say of course, but here is something to consider. A few weeks ago the courier post times writer Kevin Roberts pointed some interesting numbers out. Last year Pat ‘lack of big bat’ Burrell struck out 131 times—Soriano was 160. burrell hit .222 with runners in scoring position—Soriano hit .231. With runners in scoring position and two outs, Burrell hit .167–Soriano hit .197. Consider Fonzie’s defense in left field is no better than Burrell’s either. Yes Soriano had like 22 assists, but his feilding is suspect at best. Granted Soriano hit in the leadoff spot much of the year and didnt have much protection behind him, not helping his stats that I just mentioned above. I would rather have him than Burrell any day, but not for the deal he got from the Cubs. The guy I wanted all along is carlos Lee, but from everything I hear the Phillies dont have a great interest in him. To me he seems a better fit for the Phillies. he only struck out around 60 times. This Phillies lineup already has enough strikeouts without adding another K machine(Soriano). Lee still had 36 HR and 117 RBI with 100 less K’s than the Fonz, and still stole 19 bases. He hit .300 for the year. I know he may not have the best defense in left, but neither do Burrell or Soriano. One thing the Phillies should realize is if they want a top free agent they will have to overpay. Thats just the way it is nowadays. Their biggest need is pitching, but forget Zito or Jason Schmidt. They already stated they dont want to come here. I dont think Zito’s personality fits in the high pressure places like Philly or NY. They probably will not go after a starter. they should get a reliver or two, one of which I hope is Corey Bradford of the Mets. Strengthen yourself while weakening you opposition. Gillick has repeatedly stated he will NOT spend top dollar on free agent pitchers. In Toronto he mainly developed arms in the farm system and it paid off with two world series titles. He is trying the same thing in Philly, acquiring guys like Gio Gonzales in the Jim Thome trade last year. My only hangup is Phillies management(of course) They insist on keeping the payroll aroung 90-94 million. You cant tell me they cant afford to go the extra mile or two to get somne top quality guys and up the payroll some. Since citizens Bank park opened it has been a cash cow. They, the owners, once again pose the biggest hinderance to this team getting over the top, not the GM. Read my next article to find another interesting possibilty.