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Mets Outfielder Jose Bautista Traded to Phillies

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 28, 2018

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 18: Jose Bautista #11 of the New York Mets in action against the Philadelphia Phillies during a game at Citizens Bank Park on August 18, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Mets defeated the Phillies 3-1. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Jose Bautista is headed to his third National League East team of 2018.

The New York Mets traded Bautista to the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday in exchange for a player to be named later or cash. The Phillies designated pitcher Mark Leiter Jr. for assignment to clear room for Bautista on the 40-man roster.

This trade comes one day after Philadelphia claimed the veteran outfielder off revocable waivers.

Even with Yoenis Cespedes out for the season because of a heel injury, New York was facing a logjam in the outfield. Michael Conforto, 25, is viewed as a cornerstone. With three-time All-Star Jay Bruce (hip) returning from the disabled list this past weekend and Brandon Nimmo (finger) set to be activated on Tuesday, Bautista became expendable.

Bautista signed a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves in April before being released in May after hitting just .143 with two home runs and five RBI in 12 games. 

The six-time All-Star was subsequently signed by the Mets, who were in need of right-handed power with Cespedes and two-time All-Star third baseman Todd Frazier on the DL.

While his average (.204) hovered around the Mendoza Line in New York, the 37-year-old's bat did show some signs of life. He hit nine home runs, 13 doubles and 37 RBI with a .351 on-base percentage in 83 games. 

His average has dropped in each of the past two months, and he hit just .157 in 24 August appearances. He does have a .713 OPS over the last 14 games, though.

Bautista is 4-for-14 with one home run, one double, 7 RBI, three walks and a hit by a pitch in four games at Citizens Bank Park this season. He is a career .219 hitter in 22 games in Philadelphia. 

This marks the second deal of the two NL East rivals this season. The Phillies acquired infielder Asdrubal Cabrera from the Mets in exchange for minor league right-hander Franklyn Kilome ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Philadelphia (70-61) is 3.5 games back of the Atlanta Braves in the division and 2.5 games back of the Milwaukee Brewers in the wild-card race.

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