In the winter before the Phillies’ 2010 season, most of the talk revolved around Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, but one of the most exciting moves made by Ruben Amaro Jr. this off season was the acquisition of Placido Polanco.

On November 8th the Phillies declined third baseman Pedro Feliz’ 5.5 million dollar option for the 2010 season, and on December third signed free agent Polanco to a three year contract with a mutual option for the fourth year. Polanco brought with him two Gold Gloves, won in 2007 and 08, and a career fielding percentage of .990%, as well as a .303 career batting average over 13 seasons in the major leagues.

This is Polanco’s second tour of duty in Philadelphia. In July 2002 the Phillies picked up Polanco from the Cardinals as part of the Scott Rolen deal, and re-signed him in 2004 before sending him to Detroit in exchange for Ramon Martinez and Ugueth Urbina. The move proved to be an absolute steal for Detroit as Martinez has been back and forth between the minors and the bigs and Urbina is currently serving 14 years in a Venezuelan prison for two counts of attempted murder after an unfortunate machete incident.

Polanco proceeded to win two Gold Gloves, a Silver Slugger award, and was MVP of the 2006 ALCS. He was also named to his first All-Star team in 2007—all in a Detroit uniform. But it was common knowledge that Polanco fell in love with the City of Brotherly Love, and was excited to return to the Phillies.

In Detroit Polanco played only one game at third base, mostly playing second in his time there, but he seems to have slipped right back into the role of an everyday third baseman, having committed only four errors this season. Superb defense is unsurprising from the veteran though—in 2007, Polanco set a major league record for second baseman, going 149 games without committing an error.

Polanco’s post season numbers are equally impressive. If the Phillies make it to the playoffs, he will bring with him a career .296 postseason batting average, which is somewhat watered down by an 0-17 slump in the 2006 World Series. He also has a .363 on base percentage in the playoffs, and will provide added experience to an already experienced infield.

All the stats, numbers and awards aside, one of the most touching things that I ever witnessed on a baseball field occurred on the night of July 9th, 2008 at Comerica Park. Placido Polanco and 99 other people received their U.S. citizenship before the game. As he stood out on the field in his uniform, the pride was evident on his face.

Philadelphia is lucky to have Placido Polanco back in the organization, and Polanco is happy to be back in Philadelphia. May it lead to many trips to the playoffs together.

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