Now that there is an official list of non-tendered players – about 50 players became free agents when they were non-tendered – it’s worth looking at some of the names who might be of interest to the Phillies.
The first name that pops out is outfielder Matt Diaz formerly of the Atlanta Braves. Diaz is a right-handed hitting outfielder who is at least adequate defensively in both left and right field and his career average of .301 to go along with mild power would make him a good fit to come off the bench or potentially platoon with Domonic Brown in right field for the 2011 Phillies. Diaz would be especially suited for a platoon spot, since he is a career .335 hitter against left-handed pitching and has hit roughly two-thirds of his career home runs against lefties. He’s also got a career .267 average as a pinch-hitter.
San Diego non-tendered outfielder Scott Hairston, a guy who the Phillies have had an interest in acquiring as lately as in 2009. San Diego put him on the trading block in ’09 and the Phillies made an attempt to get him, but he wound up going to Oakland before returning to the Padres in 2010. Hairston is a career .278 hitter against southpaws, but just a .170 hitter coming off the bench. Hairston can play both left and center fields and could handle second base, if needed, at least for a short stint.
On the pitching side, the Phillies missed on left-handed reliever Hisanori Takahashi, who was a free agent and signed with the Angels on Thursday. The good news is that lefty reliever Hideki Okajima (Boston) was non-tendered. In 2010 Okajima struggled with a 4.50 ERA and lefties hit .284 against him, but he’s got a career ERA of 3.06 and has held left-handed hitters to a .214 average over four major league seasons, during which he’s averaged 63 appearances.
While the Phillies missed out on Takahahi, they are pursuing free agent left-hander Arthur Rhodes, who posted a 2.29 ERA in 69 games with Cincinnati last season.