It has been rumored that Victorino has already expressed interest in resigning with the Phillies if they offer him a five year extension. This deal would inevitably mean that the Flying Hawaiian would finish off his career manning the outfield of Citizen’s Bank Park.
Philadelphia doesn’t have any prospects coming up that have the speed and potential to hold down centerfield after this season, don’t be surprised to see Amaro Jr lock up the two-time all star before the season’s end.
At this point in his career, you know what you are going to get from the seven-year Phillie; an average in the high .200s and an OPS just under .800. He has increased his power numbers over the past three seasons and his three Gold Glove awards, the most recent was in 2010, prove he is still a valuable fielder.
Amaro Jr knows the importance of getting this deal done before the season is over because Victorino is at the top of the list of centerfielders eligible for free agency this year. The market isn’t necessarily weak but doesn’t have many guys as established and perfectly handcrafted for the outfield as Philly’s switch hitter.
Curtis Grandson has a $13-million club option that the Yankees will take, so the speedy center fielder will most likely be off the market.
B.J. Upton will be looking to make a move during the offseason. He has fallen off with Tampa Bay, but some desperate general manager will take a chance on this investment. The potential rewards if the 28-year-old can figure out his swing significantly outweigh the risk of signing this fallen down stud.
Michael Bourne’s contract will end after this season, but the Braves would be crazy not to give him a contract extension. His age, talent and speed makes him the most valuable centerfielder who could be on the market next offseason.
The rest of the class is rounded out by guys like Cody Ross, Grady Sizemore and Corey Paterson; so the Phillies really have one option, sign Victorino for the next five years.
The Phillies don’t have any centerfielders with a wow factor that would be ready to step in at centerfield for the 2013 season.
Larry Green, the Phils’ top draft choice in 2011, hasn’t played professional ball in his life and looks more suited to be a first baseman than a centerfielder.
Aaron Altherr made his debut in the pros last season and split time amongst single A clubs. He played well in the New York Penn-League and showed a lot of raw tools, specifically his speed, that will develop him into a great outfielder. His expected debut is in 2015.
Leandro Castro is a very dangerous prospect in the Phillies system. The 22-year-old can hit for power and steal bases, so keep an eye out for him this spring training. I wouldn’t put it past Manuel to call Castro up if he moves through the minors quickly enough this season, but I don’t think he will be ready to take over as a full time centerfielder for the 2013 season.
The Phillies can try to talk Victorino down to a three or four year deal, but at the end of the day the Flying Hawaiian should be returning to Citizen’s Bank Park for a few more seasons.