- Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com MLB Sr. Writer
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"He can play right or left field and will give Charlie lineup
options on an everyday basis," general manager Pat Gillick said,
referring to manager Charlie Manuel.
The Phillies also agreed to a one-year deal with pitcher Chad Durbin.
If Jenkins makes a total of 925 plate appearances in the 2008-2009 seasons or 525 plate appearances in 2009, it would trigger a $7.5 million vesting option for 2010. If the agreement fails to vest, he and the Phillies have a mutual option for the third year.
The contract also includes a six-team limited no trade provision.
"Geoff had multiple suitors in this process," said agent Damon Lapa. "It was a difficult choice, but this is a great opportunity for him. Philadelphia is a fantastic baseball city, that lineup is a murderer's row, and he's looking forward to hitting in that ballpark."
Durbin, 30, has a 25-37 career record in parts of eight seasons with Kansas City, Cleveland, Arizona and Detroit. He went 8-7 with a 4.72 ERA for the Tigers last season.
Jenkins, 33, is a .277 career hitter with 212 home runs in 10 seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers. He became a free agent when the Brewers declined his 2008 option of $9 million after the season.
Jenkins, an All-Star in 2003, looks forward to hitting in a
lineup that features the last two NL MVPs, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan
"Hitting in that lineup is going to be great, it's going to be
awesome," Jenkins said. "There's going to be guys on base quite a
bit and chances to drive guys in constantly. I'm going to be
looking forward to that for sure."
The Phillies, who lost Aaron Rowand to San Francisco through free agency and sent Michael Bourn to Houston in a trade for closer Brad Lidge in November, have been looking for a left-handed bat to share time with Jayson Werth in right field.
Jenkins, a .288 career hitter against right-handed pitchers, could also step in for left fielder Pat Burrell against select righties.
"We think he's going to help certainly put up some numbers
offensively," assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle said. "His
home run power is obviously an important factor for us and we would
see him being a very significant part of this club in '08."
Philadelphia had also talked with the representative for free agent center fielder Mike Cameron. By signing Jenkins, the Phillies are now committing to Shane Victorino as their regular center fielder.
Jerry Crasnick is a senior baseball writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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