The Phillies set their outfield alignment for 2008. Geoff Jenkins, who spent the last ten seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers, signed a two-year deal worth $13 million. Jenkins, a left-handed hitter, will platoon in right field with Jayson Werth. In his career, Jenkins hits right-handed pitching at a .288 clip, while batting just .242 against left-handed pitchers.
In addition to Jenkins, pitcher Chad Durbin also signed a one-year deal worth $900,000 with the Phillies. Durbin will battle for a spot in the rotation, but will most likely wind up as a long reliever for the 2008 Phillies. Last season, Durbin went between starting and relieving, finishing with a 6-7, 4.88 mark as a starter and a 2-0, 4.18 record as a reliever.
|Chad Durbin will battle for a spot in the rotation with the Phillies, but is more likely to have to settle for a role as a long reliever. (Photo: Doug Benc/Getty Images)|
Adding Jenkins officially moves Shane Victorino to center field, where he replaces Aaron Rowand, who signed a free agent deal with the San Francisco Giants last week.
Both players came down to negotiating with two teams, but the Phillies won both battles. The San Diego Padres, who were interested in Jenkins, backed off of him late Tuesday, opening the door for the Phillies. As for Durbin, the Pirates didn't want to offer the deal that the Phillies put on the table, eliminating them from the battle.
The Phillies are still looking for an upgrade at third base and perhaps another starter to throw into the mix. Kris Benson is the latest focus as a starter. The Phillies and eight other clubs watched Benson throw earlier this week and scouts all came away thinking that he looked healthy and seemed to throw better than he had at any time in the past. Benson missed the entire 2007 season with an injury and is a free agent. The Phillies have also shown some interest in Carlos Silva, who appears set to sign a four-year, $44 million deal with Seattle, and Kyle Lohse, who pitched for the Phillies last season after coming over in a deal with Cincinnati.