Much of the pending free agent talk regarding the Philadelphia Phillies has surrounded starting pitcher Cole Hamels. While Hamels is a significant player, the Phillies have another that could potentially hit the open market next winter; center fielder Shane Victorino. The Flyin’ Hawaiian made it clear this week that he’d like to remain in Philadelphia, but also indicated his expectations for his next contract.
Victorino told reporters this week that he’s aiming for a five-year contract. The 31-year-old would love to continue calling the City of Brotherly Love his home, and even indicated that he’d be willing to give the Phillies a hometown discount.
However, Victorino made it clear that he’s looking to “maximize” his opportunity. With “age and time” coming into play, Victorino understands that he’s entering a “window in this game” and wants to make the most of his pending free agency.
Victorino said he expects his representation to continue holding negotiations with the Phillies through spring training. While it wouldn’t be ideal, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com said he gets the feeling that Victorino would be alright extending talks into the regular season.
Zolecki summed the situation up by saying that Victorino is likely willing to take a little less to remain a Phillie long-term, but not a figure well below market value.
It seems to be a safe bet that Victorino and the Phillies will reach a contract agreement before he hits the open market. It’s to be determined if the aging center fielder will receive the five years he is seeking, as negotiations don’t appear to be very far along.
Entering the 2011 season, much of Victorino’s game was predicated on his speed. This is one of the first things to go as veteran players age, something the Phillies will be keeping in mind.
Still, Victorino showed some added pop last season, allowing him to finish with the highest full-season OPS (.847) of his career. Last season for the Phillies, Victorino hit at a clip of .279/.355/.491 with 17 home runs, 16 triples, 27 doubles and 95 runs scored.
Do you think a five-year deal is realistic for Victorino?
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