Phillies Make A Slight Upgrade

Phillies, Pirates Swap Catchers

The Phillies and Pirates completed a swap of catchers on Wednesday, with Ronny Paulino going to Philadelphia in exchange for Jason Jaramillo.

With catcher Lou Marson arguably the Phillies’ #1 prospect, Jaramillo was between a rock and a hard place. For whatever reason, the Phils seem committed to Carlos Ruiz despite shortcomings both on offense and on defense (at least that which we can accurately log).

Regardless of what the Phillies got, getting anything of decent value for Jaramillo was a win. The acquisition also frees up Chris Coste to be a third-string utilityman of sorts, as well as to become the primary right-handed hitter off the bench.

Marson will likely start the season at AAA with Ruiz once again the #1 catcher and Paulino backing him up. Don’t expect anything special out of Paulino, as he has a career 86 OPS+, which is about average for a catcher. If, for some reason, Paulino rekindles his 2006 ways and puts up a .360 OBP, the Phillies will have struck gold at a time when they could have panicked and overpaid for other well-known players like Mark DeRosa.

New GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has made two deals since taking over for Pat Gillick, and I’m happy to say he’s won both of them. The first, Greg Golson to the Texas Rangers for John Mayberry, may not have any noticeable impact but it was a deal simply worth making. Greg Golson didn’t appear to be the five-tool player everybody thought he could be and Mayberry, a power-hitting right-hander, could be useful down the road especially if there are injuries to any of the Phils’ outfielders.

Another aspect of the Paulino trade to consider is that it makes either Ruiz or Coste available to be packaged into a trade. The Phils are heavily rumored to be the third team involved in a trade that would send Jake Peavy from the San Diego Padres to the Chicago Cubs, with DeRosa coming back this way.

Recapping the action of the last 24 hours, the Yankees got C.C. Sabathia, the Mets got Francisco Rodriguez and are close to acquiring J.J. Putz, the Indians got Kerry Wood… and the Phillies got Ronny Paulino.

And that’s just fine.

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1 comment

  1. ShooterB

    December 11, 2008 01:28 PM

    “Phillies Make a Slight Upgrade”

    Which, of course, means the Pirates make yet another downgrade.

    I knew Paulino was on the block, but I expected them to get something different in return. Either a pitching prospect, or even a different position player. Ideally, they could have worked out something with Florida for their shorstop prospect (Andino).

    It’s not a major loss for Pittsburgh, as Paulino had very little value to them. Doumit is the catcher of the future, and Paulino obviously wants a starting gig. But I still would have liked to see the Bucs try to squeeze a bit more value out of their trading chip. They don’t need back-up catchers, they need quality arms…and lots of them.

    All new faces in the front office, more of the same ole’ bullshit in Pittsburgh.

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