Negotiations between Park Chan-ho, pic-tured, and the Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. have stalled. The Phillies are reportedly only interested in Park as a reliever. / Korea Times File
By Yoon Chul
Negotiations between free agent pitcher Park Chan-ho and the Philadelphia Phillies have stalled as the two sides have differing views on the right-hander's role with the team.
The Phillies are interested in bringing Park back as a reliever but, in recent weeks, Park has expressed his desire to be a starter again and may be waiting to see if that opportunity with another team materializes.
Park said last week that six teams had expressed an interest in signing him but did not reveal if any were offering him a chance to start.
However, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said his patience with Park, as well as with free agent reliever Scott Eyre, may be nearing an end.
"I may go sign somebody else because they're waiting around," Amaro told the Philadelphia Inquirer, Wednesday (KST).
Amaro, who is in Florida participating in the baseball's winter meetings, met with Park's agent Jeff Borris, Monday.
Amaro also said he would likely tender contract offers to two other arbitration-eligible relievers, Chad Durbin and Clay Condrey, before Saturday's deadline, with quality relievers seeming to be in short supply.
"Those are guys we will probably count on," he said.
Durbin received $1,635,000 and Condrey earned $650,000 last season.
Amaro also didn't rule out the possibility of giving a pair of young lefties, Sergio Escalona and Antonio Bastardo, increased roles in 2010.
The Phils GM could be simply trying to gain the upper hand in negotiations, because reliable veteran relievers in the $4 million salary range are difficult to find.
While Park still wants to start, he has said he also would like to play for a contender and on his return to Korea reiterated that winning a World Series was one of his three goals when he moved to the United States. However, it's unlikely that Park will be able to crack the rotation on a team with real championship aspirations.
And at this point in his career, Park has been more effective in relief. Last year Park was 1-1 with a 7.29 ERA in seven starts before being sent to the bullpen, where he proved to be a reliable option on an otherwise shaky staff ― posting an ERA of 2.52 in 38 games with a pair of wins and losses.