The Phillies spent much of the first day at the Winter Meetings working on internal issues. Ruben Amaro Jr. met with the agent for Chan Ho Park, who is still ideally looking for a job as a starting pitcher. The Phillies have said that they would welcome Park back to the fold, but only as a reliever. The two sides appear to be pretty far apart not only in their idea of how to use Park, but financially as well. Part of the problem is that Park is looking for starter-type money while the Phillies are looking to re-sign him at a much lower price.
Chad Durbin's agent also talked with the Phillies yesterday. Durbin is eligible for arbitration and might become too pricey for the Phillies, potentially making him a candidate to be non-tendered this weekend. Both sides are interested in getting a deal done so they don't have to go to arbitration, which is possibly the only way that Durbin will return to the Phillies bullpen in 2010.
There is also talk of deals for relievers Clay Condrey and Scott Eyre. Condrey, who is eligible for arbtiration, could wind up being non-tendered in an effort to save money. The Phillies believe they may be able to find an in-house candidate like Kyle Kendrick who could take Condrey's spot in the bullpen, providing the same qualities, but at a cheaper price. As for Eyre, who is a free agent, the Phillies have both Sergio Escalona and Antonio Bastardo waiting in the wings and appear happy enough with how each of them performed with the club last season to turn Eyre's spot over to one of the younger left-handers. Eyre has said in the past that if he doesn't return to the Phillies, he would retire, but hasn't reiterated that statement since officially becoming a free agent.
Meanwhile, the Phillies are continuing to follow Brandon Lyon's free agency. Lyon may take his time signing, preferring to find the perfect position for himself and hopefully, setting himself up for the best possible payday. On Monday, Lyon did tell the media that it's more important to him to sign with a team that has a chance of winning than it is to find a job as a closer. That would seem to put the Phillies in a good position on Lyon's list of potential places to sign. In many ways, Lyon would be the perfect fit for the Phillies, since he has experience closing, but is willing to accept a setup role and also because he's pitched multiple innings per outing in his role with the Tigers this past season.