Placido Polanco is coming back to Philly.
After spending four and a half years in Detroit, the Phillies have reportedly signed the 34-year-old to take over as the club’s everyday third baseman.
The contract is believed to be a three-year, $18 million deal with a fourth-year mutual option for 2013.
As is customary with all deals, finalization of the contract is pending a physical.
Polanco spent parts of four seasons in Philadelphia and posted a very solid .297/.352/.439 line during that time while posting of the best power numbers of his career.
The Phillies will be moving Polanco from second base, where he has two Gold Gloves, to third base to replace the departed Pedro Feliz.
Polanco isn’t a stranger to the hot corner, having originally started his career as a third baseman before shifting to second base full-time during his last stint in Philadelphia.
He posted above average numbers at the hot corner, but has only played nine games at third since the end of 2004.
The addition of Polanco gives the Phillies more flexibility in the lineup as well as in the field.
Polanco, a career .303/.348/.414 hitter can hit anywhere in the lineup.
He is renowned for his plate discipline. He struck out once every 14.7 plate appearances last season, good enough for the second-best mark in all of baseball.
Over the past five seasons, he’s averaged just one strikeout per every 17.5 plate appearances, which is also good for second-best in the Majors.
He has hit primarily out of the two-hole in recent years. His penchant for clutch hits and moving runners makes him an ideal candidate to continue that role in Philadelphia.
Another option would be to hit him lower in the order, to allow more turn-over at the bottom of the lineup. Shane Victorino has handled the two-hole in recent years and has thrived in the role.
No matter where manager Charlie Manuel decides to hit him in the lineup, Polanco figures to be an exciting addition to one of the most potent lineups in all of baseball.
The Phillies were rumored to be interested in Mark DeRosa and Adrian Beltre as alternatives at third base, but the Phillies pursued Polanco very aggressively after it was learned that Detroit would not offer him arbitration.
As a Type A free agent, the Tigers could have gained a first-round draft pick and as supplemental pick for Polanco had they offered him arbitration.
Without the offer, Polanco instantly became more attractive as a free agent option.