Led by three members of the National League champion Phillies, 39 players declared free agency on Friday, bringing to 118 the total number of players who have declared in the first two days they were allowed to do so. Right-handers Pedro Martinez and Brett Myers, both of whom had partial seasons for different reasons, and utility infielder Miguel Cairo became the first of the eight Phillies eligible for free agency to enter the pool. Another Philadelphia player was removed from the list of eligibles when, to the surprise of no one, the Phillies exercised the 2010 option in the contract of left-hander Cliff Lee, who will be paid $9 million in his first full season in the Phillies' rotation.
The D-backs pulled back Brandon Webb from potential free agency by picking up the $8.5 million option on the right-hander, who missed the entire 2009 season with a shoulder injury that required surgery in August. The Yankees, the Phillies' World Series conquerors who were too busy on Friday being feted by a ticker-tape parade in New York, have yet to see any of their seven eligible players file. Presumably, World Series MVP Hideki Matsui; fellow outfielders Johnny Damon, Jerry Hairston Jr., Xavier Nady and Erik Hinske; catcher Jose Molina; and left-hander Andy Pettitte are waiting for a more appropriate time to throw their hats in the free-agent ring. Others declaring on Friday were Chone Figgins and Vladimir Guerrero of the three-time American League West champion Angels, six-time All-Star shortstop Miguel Tejada of the Astros and outfielder Jermaine Dye, after the White Sox declined a 2010 option that calls for a salary of $12 million. Dye is a Type A free agent after hitting 27 homers and driving in 81 runs with a .250 average, according to the Elias Sports Bureau's recently released player ratings, which are based on two-season position-specific comparative statistical analysis. A team signing away a Type A free agent will have to compensate his new club with either a first- or second-round selection in June's First-Year Player Draft (depending on the signing club's Draft seeding) in addition to a bonus pick between the first two rounds. Other Type As filing on Friday were catcher Yorvit Torrealba (Rockies), reliever LaTroy Hawkins (Astros), catcher Bengie Molina (Giants), shortstop Marco Scutaro (Blue Jays), Figgins and Tejada. Nine other filers were Type B, carrying a compensation price tag of a supplemental Draft pick between the first two rounds -- and only if he is either signed away before Dec. 1 or declines an offer of salary arbitration from his old club. Type Bs opting for free agency included reliever Guillermo Mota and starter Vicente Padilla of the Dodgers, No. 3 Cardinals starter Joel Pineiro, setup relievers Kiko Calero of the Marlins and Russ Springer of the Rays, Florida first baseman Nick Johnson and left-hander Erik Bedard of the Mariners. At least one player destined for the Hall of Fame also declared his free agency. Shortstop Omar Vizquel has already indicated his intent to play at least one more season -- he turns 43 in April -- after serving in a reserve role for the Rangers and setting the career record for hits by a native of Venezuela. Vizquel broke Hall of Fame shortstop Luis Aparicio's country record when he collected No. 2,678 on June 25, and he finished the season with 2,704. The three-time All-Star already holds the record for the most games at shortstop, with 2,681. Sixty-five eligible players remain who have yet to declare. The period for filing for free agency began the day after the conclusion of the World Series and extends 15 days, through Nov. 20. Until then, free agents can negotiate only with their 2009 clubs. Thereafter, open bidding will begin.