According to ESPN.com, the Phillies have signed Chan Ho Park to a 1 year/$2.5 million dollar contract to compete for a spot in the starting rotation.
This move has warning signs written all over it. Where to begin?
-Park has not been an effective starting pitcher since 2001
-Park was one of the worst starting pitchers in baseball from 2002-2005 (never had an ERA below 5.50)
-Park still gives up the long ball (12 HR in 95 IP this season)
-Park has been a pretty bad pitcher everywhere he has gone besides Los Angeles
So why in the world would the Phillies sign Park with the understanding that he would be a starter? Sure he had a great year last yea, but that was in the bullpen. There is a huge difference between pitching out of the pen and starting. Park has shown nothing over the past decade to prove that he will be an effective starter in 2009.
Furthermore, Park is a horrible fit for the Citizens Bank Park, which is one of the most hitter friendly in baseball. As a fly ball pitcher, this ball park will eat Park up alive as ordinary fly balls will all of a sudden become extra base hits and home runs. I see a 5 or 6 ERA in Park's future.
It's good to see that Park was concerned as well though! From ESPN.com
"I was a little worried about the Citizens Bank Park, the home of the Phillies, which is hitter-friendly," Park was quoted as saying in The Times. "But as they considered me a starter, I signed with Philadelphia."At least Chan Ho still has some common sense. This is a great opportunity for him to start and make money, but in reality, this contract is simply setting him up for failure.
So nice work here Ruben Amaro, you signed a pitcher who has not been an effective starting pitcher in almost a decade to be a starter. If Park was pitching out of the bullpen, this move would be a lot more positive because he was very successful in that role last season. However, this move makes no sense, especially if it means that the Phillies are no longer interested in signing Jamie Moyer.
There is no upside on this deal for Philadelphia if Park is a starter. At best, Park is a fifth starter, but more than likely, he will be a disaster.