3rd Base – Option 1
In his first full season in the minor leagues, 22-year-old Jason Donald topped the .300 for both single-A Phillies affiliates. Appearing in 134 games, Donald proved he had multiple tools showing speed with 31 doubles and 8 triples, power with 12 home runs and 71 runs batted in, and patience at the plate with a .303 batting average along with 64 walks. And, I have not mentioned his first of what is believed to be many all-star games as a superior defensive shortstop.
Although he is one of few players invited to Spring Training this upcoming year, the Phills probably give him one more year in the minors, not only for the move to third base, but also so he can face higher quality pitchers in double-A and triple-A. The Phills will most likely start Wes Helms against lefties (.282) and Gregg Dobbs against righties (.277). Based off of 2007 stats, if Dobbs and Helms combine for 525 at bats in 2008, the duo will bat .278 with 38 doubles, 5 triples, 17 home runs and 93 runs batted in.
Getting rid of Helms after this season will free up $3.5 million in cap space for the plethora of 2009 free agent outfielders that will be taking over for Pat Burrell. Add his $3.5 million to Burrell’s $14 million salary in 2008 and we can get virtually any outfielder we so desire.