Thursday, December 3, 2009

Polanco signs with Phillies

Twins fans can scratch Placido Polanco from their wish list; the AL Gold Glove at second base signed a three-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.

He'll play third base for the Phillies, which might seem a waste of a Gold Glove winner until you realize that Chase Utley is better and younger.

The Phillies dumped Polanco in midseason 2005. The Phils had Utley at second and the immortal David Bell at third, and if they haven't regretted keeping Bell over Polanco since making the trade, they should have. I wonder if they'd have signed him if the GM who traded him was still there.

It's been an odd career for Polanco — a few years as a regular without a position in St. Louis, a couple more in Philadelphia — then he he got to Detroit, and the Tigers installed him at second base and the No. 2 slot in the order and told him to run with it. Which he did.

The Cardinals and Phillies saw him as a tweener — a bit too slow for second base, not enough power for third. The Tigers deserve credit for seeing that his reliability — 19 errors total in 4.5 seasons — outweighed his lack of speed.


Speaking of the Tigers: Mack Avenue Tigers this week has a five-part series analyzing the general manager reign of Dave Dombrowski in Detroit. Twins fans with a "know thy enemy" inclination will find it of interest.


Two former Twins infielders, Brian Buscher and Luis Rodriguez, signed minor league deals this week with the Cleveland Indians. I think both players can help the right manager as bench players — the right manager being one more inclined to platoons and matchups than Ron Gardenhire.

Whether Manny Acta is such a manager remains to be seen.

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