He may have had the winning hit in the 2008 World Series, but Pedro Feliz's 81 OPS+ wasn't enough for the Phillies. Placido Polanco apparently passed his physical earlier today and have finalized a 3-year, $18 million deal with Polanco with a mutual option for a fourth year.
Jon Heyman writes the Phillies would like Polanco to bat second. This probably moves Shane Victorino down to the 7-spot, as Charlie Manuel is likely to stick with Jimmy Rollins as the leadoff hitter until J-Roll retires, and maybe even after. (An empty hole in the leadoff spot would have an OBP about 50 points lower than Rollins; no word on said empty hole's surfing skills.)
Polanco had a bit of a down year last season, hitting .285/.331/.396 (an OPS+ of 88), but his BABIP was an uncharacteristically low .295, compared to his .314 career number. Bill James projects him with a wOBA of .325, slightly better than his .321 last season but not as good as his .339 or .371 numbers the two previous seasons.
Polanco hasn't played significant time at third since 2002, when he played 131 games at third between Philly and St. Louis; he played 3B for the Cardinals the year before, also. You may remember than Polanco was on the Phillies before; he was shipped to the team in the Scott Rolen deal, then traded away to the Tigers for Ugueth Urbina. Why didn't the Phillies just move him to third back then? Why, David Bell, of course!
The Phillies did not spend a ton of money here, so they have still have room to get some bullpen help and maybe another starting pitcher. It's possible Polanco has fallen off a cliff and will struggle the next three seasons, but it's also possible his BABIP will normalize, he'll be strong at third base and will end up being a bargain for the suddenly smart-looking Phillies. Who would ever thought we'd ever be in a position to be saying that?