Feliz signs three-year, $8.5 million deal to be Phillies third baseman

Updated: January 31, 2008, 8:29 PM ET
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- Pedro Feliz found a new home with the Philadelphia Phillies after spending his first eight major league seasons in San Francisco.

"This is a team that won last year and has a chance to win again this year. I'm very excited to be here," the free-agent third baseman said Thursday after finalizing an $8.5 million, three-year contract.

Feliz hit .253 with 20 homers and 72 RBIs for San Francisco last season.

Last year, Philadelphia's third-base trio of Greg Dobbs, Wes Helms and Abraham Nunez batted .255 with 11 homers and 76 RBIs. Dobbs and Helms are still on the roster.

"We said from the beginning of our offseason that we would try to improve the club in any way we could," assistant general manager Ruben Amaro said. "We feel that with the acquisition of Feliz, we have helped to solidify an already productive infield. Pedro is an above average defender who will provide some overall balance to our lineup."

Feliz gets $3 million this year and $5 million next year. Philadelphia has a $5 million option for 2010 with a $500,000 buyout.

Escalators and performance bonuses could increase the value to $15 million over three seasons.

Feliz has been a full-time starter since 2004, averaging 21 homers and 84 RBIs. He spent 14 seasons in the organization and was disappointed the Giants didn't make more of an effort to keep him.

"The process went a long way and sometimes it doesn't work out," Feliz said. "Philadelphia is another place I am happy to be. I would love to know why they didn't pursue me more. But I'm with Philadelphia now and I'm excited."

He has played 140 or more games for four consecutive seasons and has never been on the disabled list. He joins an infield that includes first baseman Ryan Howard, second baseman Chase Utley and shortstop Jimmy Rollins.

"This is a great infield," Feliz said. "I don't care where I am in the lineup."

The NL East champion Phillies also added outfielders Geoff Jenkins and So Taguchi and pitcher Chad Durbin as free agents this offseason. They acquired closer Brad Lidge and utility man Eric Bruntlett in a trade with Houston.

Amaro said more moves before spring training are unlikely.

"This was a position we knew we wanted to make stronger, and a big thing is Pedro is also versatile," he said. "He's played first and some outfield, as well, and even though we'll ask him to play third most of the time, he gives us versatility."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press