Could Phillies use Dewitt or Baker?

Could Phillies use Dewitt or Baker?

It appears Chase Utley's rehabilitation has stalled and he's off to see a knee specialist.  At this point it's looking more and more unlikely that he'll start the season with the team.

Buster Olney tweeted the following earlier this morning...

If PHI wants to trade for 2B, some names mentioned by rival evaluators for possibly being options: Blake DeWitt, m. Izturis, Getz, Callaspo

I would add Jeff Baker to that list although that would be less likely.

The Cubs, like most teams, are starting to get a clearer picture of what their roster is going to look like but they have a decision to make between Adrian Cardenas and Blake DeWitt.  Keeping one could well mean losing the other as DeWitt needs a spot on the 40 man roster.  DeWitt looked like the early favorite and has the better numbers overall (.333/.440/.476 with  1 HR and 1 SB), but Cardenas has been the better player for the last few days, so the decision won't be easy.

DeWitt (26) and Cardenas (24) are still young and fit the Cubs youthful direction, but Cardenas has more cost controlled years left.

The Cubs really can't keep both since they are very similar players.  Both hit left-handed, both are primarily second baseman who can also play 3rd and the OF corners, and both are considered good bench bats who are  below average defensively.

As far as the Phillies are concerned, they're a win-now team and their preference would be the more proven Blake DeWitt or, possibly, Jeff Baker.  Last year when Utley got hut, they turned to career minor leaguer Michael Martinez, who hit .196 in 209 ABs last season.

DeWitt would appear to be the better option and will probably come cheaper because he's not on the Cubs 40 man roster.  The Cubs have Cardenas as a capable replacement.  Baker figures to have an important role for the Cubs as a RH bat off the bench that can spell Ian Stewart and Bryan LaHair against some lefties.  Still, if a team prefers him enough over DeWitt to give up a better prospect, the Cubs may trade him instead.

Considering the Phillies are more likely just looking for a stopgap, DeWitt probably makes the most sense.  The deal could involve a low-level prospect and/or perhaps the two teams can even work a deal so that the Cubs can keep Lendy Castillo in the minors for the season instead of forcing him to stay in the majors all year.  That would seem to solve two of the Cubs roster management problems with one swift stroke.

Per Ruben Amaro, however, the Phillies are leaning toward going with Freddy Galvis until Utley returns.  The 22 year old Galvis is hitting .278 this spring and is rated the Phillies 6th best prospect by Baseball America.  He would provide the Phillies with an excellent defender but a questionable bat.  Galvis finished 2011 at AAA where  had 121 ABs  and hit .298.  At AA, he hit .273 with 8 HRs.


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  • DeWitt straight up for the rights to Castillo would be a great trade. De Witt is a known, marginal player.

  • In reply to Cuyler:

    although its a trade that would make sense, we could probably squeeze a low a ball player out of them in addition to the rights of castillo. the phillies system isnt very strong and im not saying the player we'd get back would have much upside but theres definitely a chance they'd part with a low ceiling prospect.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    They probably can't get a whole lot for DeWitt but they do have leverage with Castillo in that he's on the 40 man roster and has pitched well enough to make the team -- and the Cubs can afford to use up a bullpen spot if it makes them better down the road. Could be able to get another player out of it, though I would consider just being able to send Castillo to AA a win for the Cubs.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    im not arguing with the fact that lendy to AA for dewitt isnt a win, im just saying in our situation (we have spots in the pen open, we dont plan on contending this year, lendy has shown he could probably handle being on the big league roster for 20 or so innings this year) we could definitely squeeze another guy out of them. but if thats a deal breaker then by all means, dewitt for lendy's rights works fine for me.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    Exactly. Wasn't trying to say we shouldn't try and get more than Castillo since Cubs can pretty much keep him if they want to anyway. Phillies will lose him no matter what if the Cubs decide he has a future with the team, just that they wouldn't get much and that the Castillo part of the deal would probably be the part that would help the Cubs the most.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Agreed! They aren't going to get a whole lost for DeWitt or Baker, but just having the option of sending Castillo to AA would be a victory.

  • Trade DeWitt for the best prospect you can get. Also we will not
    have to put him on the 40 man roster. Always think long term.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I agree with the long term thinking having to take precedence here.

  • Back the deal bigger

    Phillies Seek Backup Catcher
    By Ben Nicholson-Smith [March 19 at 11:26am CST]

    The Phillies are looking for a backup catcher,'s Buster Olney tweets. The front office would like to improve upon their current internal options if possible.

    Brian Schneider projects to back Carlos Ruiz up, and Erik Kratz and Sebastian Valle are also on Philadelphia's 40-man roster. Ivan Rodriguez and Ramon Castro are the only free agent catchers who spent significant time in the Major Leagues in 2011, so the Phillies may look to complete a trade. Royals GM Dayton Moore is also on the lookout for catching depth this spring.

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    In reply to emartinezjr:

    The Royals have been rumored for while to be looking to add a full time catcher of one who could be part of a platoon. It's why, as long as there are rumors about Geovany Soto, the Royals will be connected to them, and it wouldn't surprise me if Soto were a Royal on August 1st.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Soto might get dealt but I'd put it closer to that August 1st date.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I don't know if the Cubs have a backup catcher to deal. Soto is a starter and Castillo may be as well. That leaves Clevenger and I don't think he'd bring a lot back in a trade.

  • Baker has value. He is defensively not great but better than DeWitt and his ability to hit LH pitching with such consistency has value for any ML bench.

  • In reply to Cuyler:

    I think he has value as well, to the point where the Cubs should only trade him if they get some kind of value back in return. DeWitt is easier to trade for a team looking for a cheaper stopgap starter and utility guy.

  • As of today, the Cardinals might be looking for a 2B as well.

  • That's right, Schumacher looks like he's going to be out for a while.

  • Not sure if either team would want to help the other out.

  • That's true, but it's a short term move and it isn't a big enough player to change much.

  • Wish me luck on my fantasy draft, boys.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Good luck...and don't draft Travis Wood.

  • Good luck. I started a Yahoo NL only league if you're interested.

  • John, off-topic, but curious if you've seen the guys from the Shawon-O-Meter on Facebook. They've been posting video of the 1989 season (showing mainly clips of the famed sign), including the Arne Harris montage/highlight video that was played on WGN after the Cubs clinched. If you've got a couple of hours to kill, it's well worth it to look through some videos and re-live some memories.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Thanks, I'll definitely check that out later. I'm on the road and have a meeting later today, so I may not see it until sometime tonight.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm not literally on the road, by the way ;)

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Damn! Just watched that video. I really miss those nameless jersey's. LOL!

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    What is the likelihood that we see a move prior to opening day? The Cubs would probably like to open up a 40 man roster spot, or a starting outfield spot for Brett Jackson. I'm hopeful the Cubs could move Byrd or Soriano. The Indians are said to be looking for LF, since Brantley moved over to replace Grady Sizemore. Soriano could also steal some DH time when Hafner gets hurt as usual.

    I think now would also be a good time to send Byrd to Washington, since they've decided to keep Bryce Harper down for at least a little while. I don't think Jayson Werth is a CF at this point.

  • In reply to Neifiisgreat:

    I would say the likelihood is very low, but I do see the Cubs making a couple of minor moves. Cubs are probably stuck with Sori and while they like Jackson, I don't think they're going to force a move to get him out there. That being said, if someone makes a very good offer for Byrd, I think they'll trade him. So far there's been no indication that that's what's going to happen. That could change as we get closer to opening day and the Nats decide they need a better CF'er.

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    I'm with John, keep Castillo here. The farm system the Phillies have isn't deep enough to supercede what Lendy is by much. It is nice to see the phillies start to decline though. This is a good article from a awhile back

  • In reply to Nate Hummel:

    They really built that team up the right way but they didn't keep it going, got keep that pipeline flowing.

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    The Phillies farm system is crap isn't it? I might be wrong so correct me if i'm wrong but I'm with the "work something out to keep castillo here" crowd for baker or dewitt. I think Baker's trade value is consistent and does not ebb and flow so I'd lean towards Dewitt going since he's more cost controlled and as old as the Phillies are getting they probably don't want a journeyman utitlity player like Baker back. I'm assuming Amaro would want some upside and even though DeWitt probably doesn't have much at this point either he has more advantages then when compared to Baker. Hell he's even only a couple hundred thousand dollars cheaper than Baker ( .... It is nice though to see the Phillies farm system dry up while they keep getting older and not adjust. ( I wish i tweeted this idea to you before Olney get it on twitter I think I was just after him. Jay Jackson do decent today?

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    Maybe the Trib is secretly running both the White Sox and the Phillies?

  • In reply to Nate Hummel:

    Haha! KW and Ruben Amaro do make some curious decisions. At least it paid off for Amaro.

  • The Cardinals had made a decision that Schumaker would not play 2b anymore. He was a backup outfielder, and Greene and Descalso are fighting for the 2b job.
    What is funny is that the Cardinals would probably love to have Mather back the way he is playing. He looks much better than the Cardinals other options as backups in the outfield right now. They would never admit it though, they think every player they have is a star.

  • That's right...good point Cubbie Ron. I'd forgotten about that. Must be tough being so close to all those Cards fans all the time ;)

  • Good analysis. A Castillo-DeWitt trade would make sense. The Phillies wouldn't feel like they're giving up anything significant, because they've already lost control of Castillo. We wouldn't feel like we're losing much in DeWitt, because we already waived him and he cleared waivers.

    Basically the deal would really be DeWitt for Mateo or de la Cruz, because those are the guys we stand to lose if we carry Castillo on the 25-man.

    I personally think DeWitt is the best all-around 2B on the Cubs, and that, if Stewart and Barney still have some upside, then so does DeWitt, because they're all about the same age. I'm a little surprised that the Cubs FO doesn't see much value in DeWitt. He's not too old to have a breakout season.

    But, seeing how the FO doesn't love DeWitt, the trade makes sense.

  • In reply to SVAZCUB:


    That was my feeling as well. There are a lot of cheap 2B out there, so it's not like the Cubs are going to get a great player, but the ability to keep Castillo AND send him down has some value because they can continue to develop him.

    DeWitt is still surprisingly young and of all the second basemen he may have been the most highly regarded as a minor leaguer. Both he and Cardenas were once considered very good prospects. Barney has always been more of a grinder.

  • A DeWitt-Castillo trade make a lot a sense to me as well. DeWitt does not really fit here any more and the Phillies need some insurance. DeWitt doesn't seem Theo's kind of player anyway.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Still having a hard time figuring out if he has patience or not. He'll do it on one AB and then not in the next.

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    It's paid off for Ruben so far but the Phillies aren't exactly big on player development under him. Can't throw money at every problem. Steinbrenner proved that after the yanks lost to the d'backs and he went apeshit with his checkbook. Dominic Brown didn't exactly pan out, just to use him as an example of how dry of homemade resources they are

  • In reply to Nate Hummel:

    Very true, Pat Gillick had built a team with some homegrown products (Howard, Utley, Rollins, Victorino, Hamels, etc.) and it's slowly disintegrating.

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    plus everyone they traded away. gavin floyd, hamels, and worley along with halladay and lee would be sick. then even brandon duckworth was considered another decent prospect

  • In reply to Nate Hummel:

    Forgot about Floyd but I'm going to give Don Cooper an assist on that one. He didn't look good coming up through the Phillies system and Cooper made a few adjustments with him and got him to reach his potential.

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    i love the information age. here's another piece about the future Gillick made the foundation for.

  • In reply to Nate Hummel:

    Thanks for the link!

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