Philadelphia Phillies: 10 Infield Options They Can Still Acquire Via Trade
Injuries and the Philadelphia Phillies’ infielders seem to find each other too often as of late.
Infielders such as Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Placido Polanco combined to miss 90 games last season while on the disabled list.
This season, Ryan Howard, Utley and Michael Martinez are likely to begin the season on the disabled list, while Polanco missed time during spring training due to a finger injury.
Between questions of depth at the position and uncertainty as to the timetables for the return of some players from injury, the Phillies may be on the lookout for infield options they can acquire via trade prior to Opening Day.
The Phils may be able to get by with their current infielders, but prolonged absences could force the team to scan the trade market.
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Callaspo has started over 200 career games at both second and third base, and also has some experience at shortstop.
The career .281 switch-hitter batted .288 for the Los Angeles Angels last season, and had 23 doubles as well as 46 RBI. Callaspo also batted .306 from the right side of the plate.
In 19 games during spring training, Callaspo has batted .333 with 18 hits in 54 at-bats.
Last season was the third consecutive season in which Callaspo has played in over 140 games, and the third time in four years in which he has batted over .280.
Between experience at three infield positions, a contract worth slightly more than $3 million this season and the fact that he has not spent any time on the disabled list over the past three seasons, Callaspo may be an infield trade option for the Phillies.
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Baker is another player who has experience at three infield positions, and is also a right-hander who batted .314 against left-handed pitchers last season.
Baker has played in over 100 games at second base, where he has a .988 career fielding percentage. In 50 games at third base, he has a .993 career fielding percentage. He also has experience at first base and right field.
Baker batted .269 with 23 RBI for the Chicago Cubs last season, and is a career .270 hitter. He has also batted .304 in 21 games during spring training, with 14 hits in 46 at-bats.
Baker, who is set to make just under $1.5 million this season, may be a trade option for the Phils, as he could provide depth at second base while Chase Utley and Michael Martinez begin the season on the disabled list.
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DeWitt has found a spot on the Chicago Cubs’ Opening Day roster after playing four different positions during spring training, including both second and third base.
The Phillies may attempt to acquire him for this same versatility.
DeWitt has played in over 100 career games at both second and third base, and started 17 games in left field for the Cubs last season.
DeWitt batted .265 with five home runs and 26 RBI last season, the second consecutive season in which he has appeared in over 100 games.
After being designated for assignment during the offseason, DeWitt has batted .281 with 16 hits in 57 at-bats during spring training.
DeWitt may have cemented his place with the Cubs, but if available, the Phillies may attempt to acquire him for depth at middle- and corner-infield spots.
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Lopez, a former All-Star, has started at second base, third base and shortstop during his major league career.
In 82 games last season, Lopez managed just a .216 batting average. However, Lopez has batted over .270 three times in his career, including 2008, when he batted .297 while finishing third in the American League with 191 hits.
Lopez has also batted .333 in 22 games during spring training with the Cleveland Indians, including 17 hits in 51 at-bats.
The 2006 All-Star has not spent any time on the disabled list during his major league career.
With over 600 career starts at second base, over 150 at third base, after signing a minor league contract during the offseason, Lopez may be a trade option for the Phillies.
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Izturis has started at least one game at second base, shortstop and third base in each of the last seven seasons.
The switch-hitter batted .276 with 35 doubles and 38 RBI for the Los Angeles Angels last season. He also batted .295 from the right side of the plate.
Izturis, a career .275 hitter, has batted over .275 in four of the past six seasons. His 122 games played, 35 doubles and 124 hits last season were all career highs.
Although he has only played in eight games during spring training due to a hamstring injury, Izturis has batted .381 with eight hits in 21 at-bats. He has also made just 10 errors combined over the past two seasons while playing three different positions.
Izturis joins Alberto Callaspo as a utility infielder for the Angels who may also be a trade option for the Phillies.
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The Phillies may be wishing they hadn’t traded utility infielder Wilson Valdez to the Cincinnati Reds during the offseason, as they currently look for players who can provide infield depth.
However, the Red may have another player who can provide versatility to the Phils’ infield.
Janish, although he has appeared primarily at shortstop during his four-year major league career, has also played second and third base in each of the past two seasons.
Janish batted just .214 while playing in a career-high 114 games last season, but batted .260 with 25 RBI in 2010. He finished with a .308 batting average against left-handed pitching that season, as well.
Janish has also batted .310 in 22 games during spring training, with 13 hits and 10 RBI in 42 at-bats.
Janish may be competing with Valdez for a spot on the Reds' Opening Day roster. Whether he makes the team or not, the Phillies may attempt to acquire him and his versatility for their infield.
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Pena was recently sent to the New York Yankees’ minor league camp after batting .261 in 16 games during spring training.
This spring, just as he has during the past three seasons in the major leagues, Pena played at three different infield positions.
Pena appeared in just 23 games last season, but played in over 150 games during the 2009 and 2010 seasons combined. In 2009, Pena finished with a .287 batting average in 69 games.
In 55 games at Triple-A last season, Pena batted .273 with 57 hits and 18 RBI. Last season also saw Pena have the highest batting average in his minor league career.
With major league experience at second and third base and shortstop, Pena may be the utility infielder the Phillies attempt to acquire.
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Valbuena was acquired by the Toronto Blue Jays during the offseason after appearing in 17 games with the Cleveland Indians last season.
Although only a .226 career hitter in the major leagues, Valbuena has batted over .300 in each of the past four seasons in the minors. Last season at Triple-A, Valbuena batted .302 with 17 home runs and 75 RBI.
Valbuena has started over 150 career games at second base. He has also played three different infield positions during spring training, including second base, third base and shortstop, while finishing tied for the lead in games played of Blue Jays’ players, at 23.
Valbuena, with his career .988 fielding percentage at second base, has not spent any time on the disabled list during his major league career.
If Valbuena is optioned by the Blue Jays, the Phillies may have a chance to claim him on waivers. If he makes the Blue Jays’ Opening Day roster, the Phils may still attempt to trade for him for his versatility in the infield and to see if his minor league batting average can find its way to the major leagues.
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Izturis has made the Milwaukee Brewers’ Opening Day roster, but the infielder’s experience, especially at shortstop, may make him a trade option for the Phils.
Izturis played in only 18 games last season, but had appeared in at least 110 games in each of the four seasons prior. The 11-year veteran batted .252 during that time.
The career .255 hitter has played in over 1,000 games at shortstop, and has spent time at second and third base, as well. Izturis is also a former Gold Glove award recipient.
The 2005 All-Star has twice finished in the top-10 in the National League in triples and finished sixth in the league in hits in 2004, with 193.
Izturis has appeared in 24 games during spring training, and has 10 hits in 53 at-bats.
Izturis’ spot on the Brewers’ Opening Day roster may make him difficult to trade for, but his over 1,000 games of major league experience in the infield may make him a player the Phillies try to land.
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In 24 games during spring training, Gonzalez has batted .293 with 12 hits and just one strikeout in 41 at-bats.
Last season was the third consecutive season in which Gonzalez appeared in over 100 games and the second consecutive season in which he made at least one start at first, second and third base and at shortstop.
In 102 games with the Padres last season, Gonzalez batted .215 with 32 RBI. 2009 saw him reach career highs with a .265 batting average, 77 hits and 33 RBI in 105 games.
Gonzalez also had a .333 batting average in 111 at-bats prior to the All-Star break last season.
Gonzalez is attempting to make the Rangers’ Opening Day roster, but his versatility may make him a trade option for the Phils.