Phillies Notebook: Phillies have four arbitration-eligible players

Posted: January 15, 2014

WHILE THE Phillies are likely finished adding major league talent from the free-agent market this winter, they still have to settle business with their arbitration-eligible players in the next month.

The arbitration process moves into high gear this week, first with players filing today and then on Friday, when players and teams exchange salary figures.

Both parties can come to terms on new contracts prior to Friday, though, and also before a possible arbitration hearing next month.

Kyle Kendrick, one of four arbitration-eligible Phillies who still needs a contract for 2014, was confident yesterday that he would be able to avoid the arbitration process altogether.

"I don't think there's any reason something won't get worked out," Kendrick said in a phone interview. "I think [assistant general manager] Scott [Proefrock] and [general manager] Ruben [Amaro Jr.] and my agent have always worked well in the past."

Kendrick said the sides were talking.

The 29-year-old righthander, who earned $4.5 million in 2013, is a free agent after the 2014 season. Kendrick is likely to earn between $6-7 million this year.

Given the cost of starting pitching on the open market - Jason Vargas, with a 4.30 career ERA, got 4 years and $32 million from Kansas City as a free agent - the durable if inconsistent Kendrick has real value to a Phillies rotation short on depth.

Kendrick was 10-13 with a 4.70 ERA in 30 starts of an odd 2013 season. Kendrick had a 3.68 ERA through his first 19 starts but then finished with a 6.91 ERA in his last 11.

Kendrick, who makes his offseason home in the Clearwater area, already has starteed working out at the Phillies facilities at Bright House Field along with others, including fellow rotation hopefuls Jonathan Pettibone and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez.

The three other Phillies eligible for arbitration: outfielders Ben Revere and John Mayberry Jr. and lefthanded reliever Antonio Bastardo.

Alex Rodriguez received a 162-game ban for the 2014 season for his leading role in the Biogenensis performance-enhancing drug scandal.

According to reports, Rodriguez has been on one form of illegal drug or another throughout his career, including in 2009, when his New York Yankees defeated the Phillies in the World Series. Rodriguez hit a pivotal home run to spark the Yankees' come-from-behind win at Citizens Bank Park in Game 3.

Does that irk Chase Utley, who was in town for media availability this week?

"We're not here to talk about A-Rod," Utley said dismissively.

However, Utley said he is content with a drug program that has now levied heavy penalties on two former MVPs: Rodriguez and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, among others.

"I think at this point baseball and the players' association have done a pretty good job cracking down on guys who are trying to cheat the system," Utley said. "I'm happy that the program is working and weeding some guys out."

The Phillies signed veteran infielder Ronny Cedeno to a minor league contract with an invitation to big-league camp yesterday. The journeyman Cedeno, a .246 hitter in nine seasons, is likely to compete with Freddy Galvis, Kevin Frandsen and Cesar Hernandez for a utility infielder bench job this spring. Cedeno, 30, a righthanded bat, hit .242 with a .287 OBP in 89 games between the Astros and Padres in 2013 . . . Top hitting prospect Maikel Franco and top pitching prospect Jesse Biddle are among the players who will be at Citizens Bank Park this week for the team's annual orientation for minor leaguers. Last year, the minor leaguers had the opportunity to speak with former pro athletes, including former Eagles safety Brian Dawkins, and they visited MLB Network and went through a media interview session, too. Both Franco and Biddle will join the Phillies in major league camp next month . . . Chase Utley is scheduled to take over the Phillies' twitter account (@Phillies) to answer questions from fans from 1:30-2 p.m. today.

On Twitter: @ryanlawrence21


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