Philadelphia Phillies Trade Rumors: Is Quintin Berry a Possible Sleeper Target?
Approximately 48 hours remain between now and the trade deadline on Tuesday, July 31. Within the next two days, a flurry of rumors and trades will continue to swarm the baseball world, and until 4:00 p.m. strikes Tuesday, GMs around baseball will resume their conversations and trade talks will progress.
Philadelphia Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. is bound to have many phone calls come his way. With the Phillies in last place in the NL East and likely sellers this year, players such as Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence, Joe Blanton and possibly even Cliff Lee could be available in trades. Rumors have already mentioned each of those four players, and more are sure to come before Tuesday.
As I said, the Phillies are expected to sell this year. But what if they made a surprise move as buyers?
Earlier last week, I explored the possibility of the Phillies making a trade for the San Diego Padres' Chase Headley. The prospects the Phils would give up to get Headley likely weren't realistically enough to get him in a deal, but the idea is still one I think the Phillies will consider.
This time, I'm suggesting another trade the Phillies could make, one they might not have to give up as much for—Quintin Berry of the Detroit Tigers. He's not necessarily available, but it could be an interesting situation for both the Tigers and Phillies. Please allow me to explain.
Some of you may be wondering who Berry is, whereas others of you may know his entire history. For the sake of this article, I'll tell you a bit about Berry.
Should the Phillies consider pursuing Quintin Berry?
The 27-year-old outfielder started out as a prospect in the Phillies' system after being a fifth-round pick in the 2006 First Year Player Draft. He remained in the Phils' system until the team placed him on waivers in 2010, and the Padres took him from the Phillies' farm system.
At the 2010 Winter Meetings, Berry was taken in the Rule 5 Draft by the Mets, who released him on the first of April. Berry spent 2011 with the Cincinnati Reds, then was granted free agency and hooked on with the Tigers, where he's now a backup outfielder.
Berry was called up by the Tigers when their center fielder, Austin Jackson, hit the DL in late May. Since then, he's stuck, and while he hasn't been the Tigers' everyday starter since Jackson returned on June 8, he's hit .286 on the season and his OBP is .366.
While his power isn't great, he's got leadoff hitter potential. And although his defense is far from spectacular—Berry has a -4.6 UZR/150—he's still not a bad ballplayer.
The Tigers, who lack a formidable utility player, could have interest in the Phillies' Ty Wigginton. While Wigginton is notably a gaping hole defensively, he could give players like Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder the day off if necessary. He could also play a corner outfield spot every now and then.
Wigginton is a right-handed slightly-power bat as well, and while the Tigers don't lack righty bats, they aren't stocked with them, either.
With Andy Dirks due off the DL soon, Berry's role will be reduced, if not defunct. He would be a valuable asset to a team like the Phillies, as either a Victorino replacement or simply as a bench outfielder.
The Tigers could get a solid utility option to play multiple positions and can hit relatively well. This trade would work out for both teams, but will it happen?
We'll know that in a matter of hours.
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