Phillies Make A Slight Upgrade
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.