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MLB Trade Rumors: Phillies Sign Placido Polanco

Thursdays news that the Phillies signed Placido Polanco is a little confusing as most rumors out there were that they were interested in Adrian Beltre or Mark DeRosa. The Polanco signing came out of left field in my opinion.

Polanco is a career .300 hitterm but doesn't walk much or strike out much, and maybe that is why the Phillies signed him. He isn't a power hitter, judging by his career slugging percentage of .414, but he can hit and field very well.

This is what ESPN's Buster Olney had to say about the Polanco signing:

And the Phillies also believe that Polanco will help them do a better job of manufacturing runs at the top of their order. The team has, year after year, consistently ranked near the top of the major leagues in runs scored, but the front office has come to believe that the team is too reliant on home runs -- on big swings -- and has become prone to strikeouts and pop-ups in situations in which they might be well-served by a ground ball to the right side.

Shane Victorino was the primary No. 2 hitter for the Phillies last year and struck out 71 times, not a particularly high number. The Phillies believe that if Polanco bats second, behind Jimmy Rollins, this will give Rollins a better chance to run after reaching base, and that Charlie Manuel will have more options at his disposal, given that Polanco is one of the best hit-and-run men in the sport. Victorino may well drop down in the lineup, to the No. 7 spot.

Quite informative piece there as this tells me that Rollins and Victorino could be running more in 2010...well, definitely Rollins. But with Victorino batting 7th, he could also run more than last year, but he won't be scoring as many runs as he would hitting in front of Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth.

Then again, the Phillies could deal Victorino and promote AAA outfielder Michael Taylor to bat 7th, which would be a perfect spot in the lineup for a young power hitter.