The Phillies have signed free agent Placido Polanco to replace Pedro Feliz at third base next season. Polanco played for the team from 2002-2005. Polanco has primary been a second baseman in his career, but he's been a very slick and adaptable fielder, and has also started 267 games at third base. Many of those were with the Phillies in 2002 after the tumultuous departure of the disgruntled Scott Rolen left a hole at the position, and he played very well. Especially since some analysts have shown a decline in Pedro Feliz's range at third, Polanco should not represent a downgrade defensively.
He's also a solid and reliable hitter for average -- batting over .300 for his career and in three of the last five years -- steadily hits a good number of doubles, and doesn't strike out much. Polanco has been signed for three years - until he is 37 - so it is good that he seems like the kind of player who would age well. The fact that he's already been a Phillie starter for a considerable amount of time means that the fans will already know and like him, and that he will know important, longer-serving Phillies such as Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard, as well a lot of people in the organization, and this should help the transition go smoothly.
Overall, I like the signing a lot; it brings back a welcome familiar face who should keep up our high standard of defense at third and add a bat to the lineup that hits for high average and works pitchers.
Unknown as yet is whether beloved fan group Lake Placido will make a reappearance, but the People's Phillies Blog will strive to keep you updated.