Phils Land Set Up Man Adams & Starter Lannan

Phils reach agreement with reliever Adams

Deal is for two years, $12 million, with vesting option

By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies have found their setup man.

MLB.com confirmed the Phillies have agreed to a two-year, $12 million contract with right-hander Mike Adams.

The deal has a vesting option for 2015. If Adams makes 120 appearances in 2013-14 — with 60 appearances in 2014 — the contract vests for $6.5 million. Or if he makes 65 appearances in 2014 it vests for $6 million. The Phillies also have a club option for $6 million, if Adams doesn’t hit those marks.

The deal is pending a physical.

Pitcher Mike Adams of the San Diego Padres

Pitcher Mike Adams

Adams, 34, went 5-3 with a 3.27 ERA in 61 appearances last season with the Rangers. In eight seasons with the Brewers, Padres and Rangers, Adams is 18-15 with a 2.28 ERA in 358 appearances. He has a 1.98 ERA over the past five seasons, which is third lowest of any reliever in baseball with at least 153 innings pitched.

Adams had surgery in October for thoracic outlet syndrome. It is a condition in which a rib bone presses against a nerve, causing pain and numbness in the arm. MLB.com reported in October that Adams is expected to be ready for Spring Training, although that remains to be seen.

KRIS-TV in Corpus Christi, Texas, first reported late Friday night the Phillies had agreed to terms with the reliever.

 

Phillies agree to one-year deal with Lannan

By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies not only found their setup man this weekend, they also found their fifth starter.

Sources told MLB.com that the Phillies have agreed to terms with right-hander Mike Adams to be their setup man and left-hander John Lannan to be their fifth starter. CSNPhilly.com first reported the Lannan deal. CBS Sports reported Lannan has agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract.

The deals are pending physicals.

Washington Nationals at Baltimore Orioles May ...

John Lannan

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., recently said the club was looking for a low-risk, high-reward starter to replace Vance Worley, who the Phillies shipped to Minnesota in the Ben Revere trade. Lannan seems to fit the bill.

Lannan, 28, is 42-52 with a 4.01 ERA in 134 starts in his career, which he has spent entirely with the Nationals. But Lannan, who has started twice for the Nationals on Opening Day, became expendable in a stacked Washington rotation.

Lannan is a ground-ball pitcher, which could help him at Citizens Bank Park, although he has a 6.49 ERA in eight career starts in Philadelphia.

But the Phillies wanted a veteran presence to fill out the back of the rotation, which includes Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Phils By The Numbers Through April 26

2012 Philadelphia Phillies   Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics

9-10, 4th place in NL East (Schedule and Results)
View League Standings and Leaders

Manager: Charlie Manuel (9-10)
Scored 63 runs, Allowed 62 runs. Pythagorean W-L: 10-9

Ballparks: Citizens Bank Park · Attendance: 272,692 (1st of 16)
Park Factors  Over 100 favors batters, under 100 favors pitchers.
multi-year: 
Batting – 103, Pitching – 101 · one-year: Batting – 107, Pitching – 107

Carlos Ruiz

Carlos Ruiz

BATTING

Rk Pos AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1 C Carlos Ruiz 53 6 16 3 0 2 5 0 3 6 .302 .328 .472
2 1B Ty Wigginton 46 8 14 3 0 1 6 0 5 11 .304 .365 .435
3 2B Freddy Galvis# 60 4 12 4 0 1 5 0 3 10 .200 .238 .317
4 SS Jimmy Rollins# 70 8 16 2 0 0 3 4 4 15 .229 .267 .257
5 3B Placido Polanco 59 6 14 2 0 0 2 0 4 7 .237 .297 .271
6 LF Juan Pierre* 59 6 20 0 1 0 4 3 2 2 .339 .361 .373
7 CF Shane Victorino# 75 10 19 1 0 4 8 6 6 9 .253 .309 .427
8 RF Hunter Pence 71 10 19 2 0 3 11 2 4 18 .268 .316 .423
Rk Pos AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
9 UT John Mayberry 45 0 9 2 0 0 2 0 0 14 .200 .200 .244
10 UT Laynce Nix* 23 3 8 4 0 1 6 0 2 7 .348 .400 .652
11 1B Jim Thome* 17 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 10 .118 .211 .118
12 C Brian Schneider* 15 1 4 0 0 0 1 0 1 3 .267 .313 .267
13 2B Pete Orr* 15 1 4 2 1 0 3 0 0 4 .267 .267 .533
Rk Pos AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
14 P Roy Halladay 11 0 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 5 .273 .273 .273
15 P Cole Hamels* 10 0 3 1 0 0 2 0 0 3 .300 .300 .400
16 P Vance Worley 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 .000 .000 .000
17 P Cliff Lee* 6 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .333 .333 .333
18 P Joe Blanton 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 .000 .200 .000
19 P Kyle Kendrick 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000
20 P David Herndon 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000
21 P Michael Stutes 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
22 P Joe Savery* 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
23 P Antonio Bastardo 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
24 P Chad Qualls 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
25 P Michael Schwimer 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
26 P Jose Contreras 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
27 P Jonathan Papelbon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Team Totals 650 63 165 26 2 12 59 15 37 132 .254 .294 .355
Rank in 16 NL teams 5 14 5 15 13 11 4 15 10 6 14 12
Rk Pos AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
Cliff Lee pitching for the first time as a mem...

Cliff Lee

PITCHING

Rk Pos W L W-L% ERA G SV IP H ER BB SO WHIP BB/9 SO/9
1 SP Roy Halladay 3 1 .750 1.50 4 0 30.0 19 5 8 19 0.900 2.4 5.7
2 SP Cole Hamels* 3 1 .750 2.73 4 0 26.1 24 8 3 30 1.025 1.0 10.3
3 SP Vance Worley 2 1 .667 2.16 4 0 25.0 22 6 9 27 1.240 3.2 9.7
4 SP Cliff Lee* 0 1 .000 1.96 3 0 23.0 14 5 2 18 0.696 0.8 7.0
5 SP Joe Blanton 1 3 .250 4.34 4 0 18.2 23 9 3 7 1.393 1.4 3.4
Rk Pos W L W-L% ERA G SV IP H ER BB SO WHIP BB/9 SO/9
6 CL Jonathan Papelbon 0 0 1.13 8 6 8.0 6 1 2 7 1.000 2.3 7.9
7 RP Kyle Kendrick 0 1 .000 9.39 5 0 7.2 15 8 4 3 2.478 4.7 3.5
8 RP Chad Qualls 0 0 1.29 7 0 7.0 4 1 2 4 0.857 2.6 5.1
9 RP Michael Stutes 0 0 6.35 6 0 5.2 7 4 4 5 1.941 6.4 7.9
10 RP Antonio Bastardo* 0 1 .000 3.86 5 0 2.1 3 1 2 5 2.143 7.7 19.3
Rk Pos W L W-L% ERA G SV IP H ER BB SO WHIP BB/9 SO/9
11 Joe Savery* 0 0 1.59 4 0 5.2 2 1 1 1 0.529 1.6 1.6
12 David Herndon 0 1 .000 3.18 4 0 5.2 7 2 1 7 1.412 1.6 11.1
13 Jose Contreras 0 0 10.13 3 0 2.2 4 3 2 2 2.250 6.8 6.8
14 Michael Schwimer 0 0 0.00 1 0 1.0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.0 0.0
Team Totals 9 10 .474 2.88 19 6 168.2 150 54 43 135 1.144 2.3 7.2
Rank in 16 NL teams 7 5 4 6 8 7 4 2 10
Rk Pos W L W-L% ERA G SV IP H ER BB SO WHIP BB/9 SO/9

Field view from the 300 level 03:28, 11 March ...

FIELDING

G Ch PO A E DP Fld% RF/9 RF/G PB WP CS PO Pos. Summary
Antonio Bastardo 5 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0 0 P
Joe Blanton 4 6 1 4 1 0 .833 2.41 1.25 2 0 P
Jose Contreras 3 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0 0 P
Freddy Galvis 19 99 30 68 1 14 .990 5.74 4.67 2B-SS
Roy Halladay 4 5 3 2 0 0 1.000 1.50 1.25 0 0 P
Cole Hamels 4 8 2 5 1 0 .875 2.39 1.75 3 2 P
David Herndon 4 2 1 1 0 0 1.000 3.18 0.50 0 0 P
Kyle Kendrick 5 1 0 1 0 0 1.000 1.17 0.20 0 0 P
Cliff Lee 3 2 1 1 0 1 1.000 0.78 0.67 0 0 P
John Mayberry 17 48 46 2 0 3 1.000 4.55 2.82 LF-1B-RF
Laynce Nix 7 50 46 3 1 6 .980 9.59 6.13 1B-LF
Pete Orr 4 14 3 10 1 2 .929 4.81 3.25 2B
Jonathan Papelbon 8 3 1 2 0 0 1.000 3.38 0.38 0 0 P
Hunter Pence 18 29 29 0 0 0 1.000 1.62 1.61 RF
Juan Pierre 14 18 18 0 0 0 1.000 1.53 1.29 LF
Placido Polanco 17 43 11 32 0 2 1.000 2.95 2.53 3B
Chad Qualls 7 2 1 1 0 0 1.000 2.57 0.29 0 0 P
Jimmy Rollins 19 73 23 49 1 15 .986 4.07 3.79 SS
Carlos Ruiz 17 118 107 11 0 2 1.000 8.19 6.94 1 1 6 0 C
Joe Savery 4 1 0 0 1 0 .000 0.00 0.00 0 0 P
Brian Schneider 5 36 30 6 0 0 1.000 8.31 7.20 0 1 1 0 C
Michael Schwimer 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0 0 P
Michael Stutes 6 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0 0 P
Jim Thome 3 32 29 2 1 3 .969 12.13 10.33 1B
Shane Victorino 19 44 43 1 0 1 1.000 2.35 2.32 CF
Ty Wigginton 15 94 79 13 2 9 .979 7.35 5.11 1B-3B
Vance Worley 4 8 2 6 0 1 1.000 2.88 2.00 2 0 P
Team Totals 19 736 506 220 10 59 .986 4.30 3.00 1 2 7 2
Rank in 16 NL teams 14 3 1
G Ch PO A E DP Fld% RF/9 RF/G PB WP CS PO Pos. Summary

Win Probability

PA BtRuns BtWins Plays WPA WPA+ WPA- WPA/LI Clutch REW boLI RE24/boLI PHlev
Joe Blanton 6 -0.8 -0.1 6 -0.1 0.0 -0.1 -0.1 0.0 -0.1 0.76 -1.0
Freddy Galvis# 65 -4.1 -0.4 65 -0.5 0.8 -1.3 -0.5 -0.0 -0.5 1.01 -4.9
Roy Halladay 12 -0.8 -0.1 12 -0.0 0.1 -0.2 -0.0 0.0 -0.1 1.00 -0.6
Cole Hamels* 11 -0.1 -0.0 11 0.0 0.1 -0.1 -0.0 0.0 0.1 0.84 -0.1
David Herndon 1 -0.3 -0.0 1 -0.0 0.0 -0.0 -0.0 -0.0 -0.0 0.86 -0.3
Kyle Kendrick 1 -0.3 -0.0 1 -0.0 0.0 -0.0 -0.0 -0.0 -0.0 1.17 -0.3
Cliff Lee* 7 -0.2 -0.0 8 -0.1 0.1 -0.1 -0.0 -0.0 -0.0 0.76 -0.2
John Mayberry 45 -4.9 -0.5 45 -0.6 0.4 -1.0 -0.6 -0.1 -0.7 1.01 -5.6 1.09
Laynce Nix* 25 2.7 0.3 25 0.0 0.6 -0.6 0.2 -0.1 0.2 1.03 2.0 1.21
Pete Orr* 15 0.2 0.0 15 -0.1 0.1 -0.2 -0.1 0.0 0.1 0.93 -0.0 0.11
Hunter Pence 76 -0.2 -0.0 78 0.2 1.6 -1.3 -0.0 0.3 -0.0 1.00 -0.6
Juan Pierre* 61 -0.1 -0.0 69 0.2 1.1 -0.9 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.94 0.4 0.86
Placido Polanco 65 -3.4 -0.3 66 -0.2 0.7 -0.9 -0.2 -0.0 -0.0 0.87 -1.0 0.61
Jimmy Rollins# 76 -5.3 -0.5 85 -0.1 1.0 -1.2 -0.3 0.2 -0.3 0.94 -3.6
Carlos Ruiz 58 1.3 0.1 59 -0.2 0.6 -0.9 0.0 -0.3 -0.2 0.98 -0.4 0.26
Brian Schneider* 16 -0.8 -0.1 16 -0.2 0.2 -0.4 -0.1 -0.0 -0.1 1.08 -1.3
Jim Thome* 19 -2.5 -0.3 19 -0.5 0.1 -0.7 -0.3 -0.2 -0.4 0.99 -2.6 1.59
Shane Victorino# 82 -0.4 -0.0 87 -0.0 1.1 -1.1 0.2 -0.2 0.2 0.95 1.0
Ty Wigginton 52 1.5 0.2 52 -0.0 0.7 -0.7 0.1 -0.1 0.4 0.89 1.2 0.97
Vance Worley 9 -2.5 -0.3 9 -0.2 0.0 -0.2 -0.2 0.0 -0.2 0.73 -2.3
League Average
Team Total 702 -20.9 -2.2 729 -2.4 9.5 -11.9 -2.0 -0.5 -1.4 0.95 -20.5 1.12
PA BtRuns BtWins Plays WPA WPA+ WPA- WPA/LI Clutch REW boLI RE24/boLI PHlev

Team Batting Ratios

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/27/2012.
PA HR% SO% BB% XBH% X/H% SO/BB AB/SO AB/HR AB/RBI GB/FB GO/AO
Joe Blanton 6 0.0% 16.7% 16.7% 0.0% 1.00 4.0
Freddy Galvis# 65 1.5% 15.4% 4.6% 7.7% 42% 3.33 6.0 60.0 12.0 0.68 1.32
Roy Halladay 12 0.0% 41.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0% 2.2 11.0 2.00
Cole Hamels* 11 0.0% 27.3% 0.0% 9.1% 33% 3.3 5.0 1.33 4.00
David Herndon 1 0.0% 100.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.0
Kyle Kendrick 1 0.0% 100.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.0
Cliff Lee* 7 0.0% 14.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0% 6.0 0.25 1.00
John Mayberry 45 0.0% 31.1% 0.0% 4.4% 22% 3.2 22.5 0.72 0.71
Laynce Nix* 25 4.0% 28.0% 8.0% 20.0% 63% 3.50 3.3 23.0 3.8 0.67 2.33
Pete Orr* 15 0.0% 26.7% 0.0% 20.0% 75% 3.8 5.0 1.20 2.50
Hunter Pence 76 4.0% 23.7% 5.3% 6.6% 26% 4.50 3.9 23.7 6.5 1.30 1.64
Juan Pierre* 61 0.0% 3.3% 3.3% 1.6% 5% 1.00 29.5 14.8 1.20 1.85
Placido Polanco 65 0.0% 10.8% 6.2% 3.1% 14% 1.75 8.4 29.5 1.00 1.38
Jimmy Rollins# 76 0.0% 19.7% 5.3% 2.6% 13% 3.75 4.7 23.3 0.83 1.00
Carlos Ruiz 58 3.5% 10.3% 5.2% 8.6% 31% 2.00 8.8 26.5 10.6 0.81 1.27
Brian Schneider* 16 0.0% 18.8% 6.3% 0.0% 0% 3.00 5.0 15.0 1.00 1.50
Jim Thome* 19 0.0% 52.6% 10.5% 0.0% 0% 5.00 1.7 0.75 0.67
Shane Victorino# 82 4.9% 11.0% 7.3% 6.1% 26% 1.50 8.3 18.8 9.4 0.67 0.92
Ty Wigginton 52 1.9% 21.2% 9.6% 7.7% 29% 2.20 4.2 46.0 7.7 0.71 0.57
Vance Worley 9 0.0% 44.4% 0.0% 0.0% 2.3
League Average 2.2% 19.8% 8.3% 7.2% 33% 2.37 4.5 40.8 8.9 0.87 1.19
Team Total 702 1.7% 18.8% 5.3% 5.7% 24% 3.57 4.9 54.2 11.0 0.90 1.29
PA HR% SO% BB% XBH% X/H% SO/BB AB/SO AB/HR AB/RBI GB/FB GO/AO
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/27/2012.

Hunter Signs For $10.4 Million Pence

Pence agrees to one-year deal with Phillies

Slugger was Philly’s lone remaining arbitration-eligible player

By Paul Hagen / MLB.com
The Phillies on Friday announced that they’ve agreed to terms with outfielder Hunter Pence, avoiding arbitration with their lone remaining player. Pence received a one-year contract for $10.4 million, plus award bonuses.
Hunter Pence

“We’re always focused on getting a deal done with a player,” said assistant general manager Scott Proefrock. “We think that’s the most productive way to handle these situations.”

Pence, who sparked the Phils’ offense after being acquired from the Houston Astros just before the non-waiver Trade Deadline last July, had been asking for $11.8 million, while the team filed at $9 million, so the agreement came at exactly the midpoint.

The right fielder made $6.9 million last season.

Pence became an almost immediate fan favorite after arriving at Citizens Bank Park and batted .324 with a .954 OPS in 54 games with Philadelphia. When asked after one game what he was thinking while rounding third to score the winning run, Pence responded, “Good game. Let’s go eat.” That phrase soon appeared on T-shirts sold at the stadium.

Hunter Pence

The contract also features the following bonuses: $100,000 each for winning the National League Most Valuable Player Award and World Series MVP Award; $50,000 each for NL Championship Series MVP Award, All-Star Game MVP Award, NL Silver Slugger Award and NL Gold Glove Award.

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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I Hate To See Wilson Go- But That’s Phillywood

Phillies deal Valdez to Reds for lefty Horst

By Paul Hagen / MLB.com

The Phillies have addressed their need for left-handed depth in the bullpen by acquiring 26-year-old Jeremy Horst from the Cincinnati Reds for utility infielder Wilson Valdez.

Antonio Bastardo was the only dependable lefty reliever the Phils had in 2011. Philadelphia has since added veteran Dontrelle Willis as a free agent. Horst, who will be a Minor League invitee to Spring Training, and Joe Savery are also expected to compete for spots.

Dontrelle Willis

Wiilis

Horst made his Major League debut for the Reds last season and appeared in 12 games for Cincinnati with a 2.93 ERA. In 36 games at Triple-A Louisville, Horst had a 2.81 ERA and allowed 41 hits in 51 1/3 innings with 42 strikeouts and 14 walks. He held opponents to a .219 batting average.

Horst made six appearances of three innings or more for Louisville with an 0.83 ERA in those games.

English: Philadelphia Phillies minor leaguer J...

Joe Savery

Valdez had been a valuable and versatile backup for the Phillies over the past two seasons. As injuries forced Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Placido Polanco from the lineup at various times over the past two years, Valdez started a total of 70 games at shortstop, 68 at second base and 28 at third.

His most memorable Phils moment, however, may have occurred in the early morning hours of May 26, 2011, when he came in to pitch the top of the 19th inning against the Reds at Citizens Bank Park. Valdez retired the side without giving up a run and earned the win when Philadelphia scored in the bottom of the inning.

Valdez, 33, recently signed a one-year, $930,000 contract to avoid arbitration. In the past two years, Valdez batted .254 with a .300 on-base percentage in 210 games. He previously played for the White Sox, Mariners, Padres, Dodgers and Mets.

The most likely candidate to fill his role with the Phillies in the upcoming season is Michael Martinez, the former Rule 5 Draft choice, who not only played third, second and short last season, but also left and center field.

The Phils now have 38 players on their 40-man roster.

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lidge Twiddling Thumbs Looking For Closing Role Somewhere

Unsigned Lidge playing the waiting game

Right-hander remains confident in ability to close games

By Paul Hagen / MLB.com | 01/09/12

PHILADELPHIA — On a crisp January day, workers were dismantling the Winter Classic hockey rink that, just a week earlier, had made Citizens Bank Park the epicenter of the hockey world. Bulldozers scraped the ice, now slush, and dumped it in the parking lot outside.

Phillies fan on October 31, 2008 at World Seri...

Things change. And as it happened, working out inside the home clubhouse was a man who understands that reality as well as anybody.

Three years ago, Brad Lidge was the most celebrated reliever in baseball. The Phillies right-hander didn’t blow a save during the regular season or playoffs. He went 47-for-47 overall, including dropping to his knees after recording the final out of the 2008 World Series as an entire city stood and cheered.

Monday, he was just one of several free agents still looking for a job.

What makes his story interesting, though, isn’t what he was when he played such a big role for the 2008 World Series champions.

It’s that in a what-have-you-done-lately business, he has done pretty darn well. In his last 51 appearances, Lidge has a 1.02 ERA.

Granted, that’s a body of work that has been separated by more than a half a season spent on the disabled list with both shoulder and knee problems at the beginning of the 2011 regular season. Yet that doesn’t seem to be the biggest reason he still hasn’t caught on with a team — even though Spring Training is just a little more than a month away.

From all outward appearances, the reluctance is connected to the fact that while his fastball used to routinely hit 95-96 mph, it’s now more typically in the 90-91 range.

Brad Lidge during pregame warmups

“It shouldn’t matter, but it does for some reason,” Lidge acknowledged with a wry grin. “At the beginning of my career, I would have said, ‘Who cares? I throw hard.’ At this point, I’m not throwing as hard. But I know how to pitch a lot more now. I know how to effectively use what I have.

“You’d think it would just be production. But it’s not. It’s bizarre to me because I still have a very high swing-and-miss percentage. I think velocity is so important for some teams, and the prototype closer throws hard. So if you’re not throwing as hard, suddenly you’re not a closer. And I don’t understand that totally. But it is what it is.”

It also hasn’t helped that there were a boatload of late-innings relievers available this winter. Jonathan Papelbon (Phillies) and Heath Bell (Marlins) cashed in with big free-agent contracts, but Joe Nathan (Rangers), Jonathan Broxton (Royals), Darren Oliver (Blue Jays) and Andrew Bailey (traded from the A’s to the Red Sox) were added for considerably less payroll commitment.

“This has just not been a great year to be a closer, period, because there are closers everywhere this year,” Lidge said. “It just so happens that [this year] there are closers everywhere that can be had at a lower price than an elite closer.”

By the time Lidge was activated from the DL last season, Ryan Madson had established himself as manager Charlie Manuel‘s go-to guy in save situations. Lidge understood the situation and accepted it without complaint. He would still like to close, however, but realizes he may not have the opportunity to open the 2012 season in that role, as there are still free-agent closers available, including Madson.

“At this point, I probably could have taken some offers,” Lidge said. “At the same time, they weren’t quite right for me. It is always a little surprising when you feel like you can still close and you’re still going to be a good closer and the market out there is not such [that you get a chance].

“There are a lot of teams that want you to be there in case their young guys doesn’t do well — to be a setup guy. And that’s great. We’ll kind of see how that plays out. That might be what I have to do. But at the same time, when you feel really good and you’re still putting up good numbers and you know you can close games, it’s tough. Because it doesn’t matter how good you feel, it just matters how teams think.”

Lidge hopes to make a decision soon. The Phillies are still looking to add bullpen depth — they have recently been rumored to have talked to Kerry Wood — and their onetime closer said no doors have been closed on his return yet.

In the meantime, Lidge and his family have returned to Philadelphia after spending the holidays at their Colorado home. He works out daily at the park and hopes for the best. It’s a lot different than it was in 2008, when the Phillies gave him a three-year, $33.5 million extension at midseason to keep him off the free-agent market.

“I guess I’ve been fortunate. I never had to pay any attention to that prior to this year,” he said with a smile. “But obviously, at this point you do have to pay attention to it. I don’t know if anybody can notpay attention to it when January rolls around and you’re not officially with a team.

“It’s been interesting. It’s a little unsettling at times. Sometimes it’s fun when you’re talking to teams. It’s a very unique experience.”

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

The 5 Best Things About Citizens Bank Park

By Kyle Yahn (Contributor)

Citbank952_original_original_display_image

Since its opening season, in 2004, Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has completely changed the face of the Phillies organization.

In 2003, the Phillies ranked 24th in the MLB in attendance. After the inception of Citizens Bank Park in 2004, they rose all the way to fourth. The Phillies have now led all of baseball in attendance for the past three seasons. They are now working on a 204-game sellout streak going into the 2012 season. The stadium sells out every single night, and the atmosphere is perpetually electric.

Not only does this state-of-the-art, $336 million stadium draw in massive crowds, but it supplies them with everything that a baseball fan could possibly dream of.

The Philadelphia Phillies have created a model of success for other teams to follow in Major League Baseball. Over the past decade, they have gone from the basement of the National League to a perennial powerhouse. This turnaround all began with the introduction of the baseball paradise that is Citizens Bank Park

The Views

Citizensview_display_image

There is not a bad seat in the entire stadium. Whether in the nosebleeds or right behind home plate, the fans are always right on top of the action.

This is great, considering the majority of the 43,647 seats are filled on a regular basis. In fact, in the 2011 season, the Philadelphia Phillies averaged an attendance capacity of 104.1 percent.

Those extra 4.1 percent may be some of the most exciting places to be anyway. With the atmosphere of the ballpark and the fans who inhabit it, standing room only seats can be just as fulfilling as front row seats.

And if you miss any of the action, just take a look at the recently installed and massive 40′ x 70′ LED scoreboard in left field—the largest in the National League.

The Bullpens

Citizens_bank_park_bullpen_display_image

There couldn’t be a more perfect feature to a baseball stadium than the bullpens at Citizens Bank Park.

These are especially fun to be around when a rival team is in town, as the visitors’ bullpen lies within ample heckling distance of the Philly faithful. Philadelphia sports fans are notorious for their passion and um…providing a comforting environment for opposing players and fans.

However, the bullpens in Citizens Bank Park aren’t only good for taunting opposing pitchers. If you’re sitting in the point of right center field (seen in the image), the Phillies staff is only a few feet away. I myself have had a conversation or two with Rich Dubee, the Phillies pitching coach, when seated in this area.

It’s a truly unique experience, and that’s why these bullpens are one of the greatest features of Citizens Bank Park.

The Food

Chickies-and-petes-crabfries_display_image

The food at Citizens Bank Park is incredible.

There’s the classic Philly lineup in center field, with Tony Luke’s, Campo’s and Planet Hoagie, and there are several places to get ballpark classics like burgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, cracker jacks and soft pretzels scattered throughout the concourse.

And of course, there are a myriad of locations to get some ice cold refreshment.

However, my personal favorite has to be Chickie’s & Pete’s crab fries. These Old Bay-covered french fries—dipped in cheese sauce of course—are the epitome of baseball bliss. Unfortunately, the line never ceases to cost you at least a half an inning.

They are worth the wait.

The Atmosphere

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Mix together consistent sellouts and the spirit of the Phillies fan base, and out comes undeniably the best atmosphere in Major League Baseball.

It’s difficult to express in words the kind of feeling Citizens Bank Park gives off. You have to experience it to truly understand.

I’ve been lucky enough to visit Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, over the past two years, and as I walk around these stadiums, there is a dullness that never even remotely appears in Citizens Bank Park.

From Game 1 to Game 162, the Phillies fans are always in full support of their team. This is something that is rare and special in the game of baseball, and is what gives Citizens Bank Park the greatest atmosphere in the world to watch a baseball game.

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Love em’ or hate em,’ there’s no way around it. Philadelphia Phillies fans are the best in the game.

Their passion, faithfulness and knowledge of the game set them apart from all other baseball fans.

Phillies fans endeared themselves to the world during Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN after their reaction to Osama Bin Laden‘s death in May of 2011.

The Phillies fan base can be described in a few simple adjectives: rowdy, obnoxious, rude, fickle, unforgiving and perfect.