Friday, September 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Slim Pickins - Available options to replace Utley or Polanco

The last time Chase Utley went on the disabled list, the Phillies quickly swung a trade with the White Sox for Tadahito Iguchi, who filled in admirably and helped keep the team's playoff chances alive.

Slim Pickins - Available options to replace Utley or Polanco

Aki Iwamura of the Pirates or Ty Wigginton of the Orioles could be possible trade targets of the Phillies. (AP Photos)
Aki Iwamura of the Pirates or Ty Wigginton of the Orioles could be possible trade targets of the Phillies. (AP Photos)

The last time Chase Utley went on the disabled list, the Phillies quickly swung a trade with the White Sox for Tadahito Iguchi, who filled in admirably and helped keep the team's playoff chances alive.

This time around, here is a look at some players who either are, or could be, available:

1. Mark Grudzielanek - The 40-year-old veteran, who did not play last season, was 30-for-110 (.273) with a .328 OBP and .273 SLG with no home runs for the Indians this season. He's a career .986 fielder at second base. He's available to sign.

2. Ty Wigginton - The Orioles have a scout on the Phillies here in Cincinnati, and the two organizations have a familiar relationship. The knock on Wigginton is his fielding. But despite mediocre fielding percentages at second base (six errors, .963 in 36 games) and third base (two errors, .833 in six games), he does play a variety of positions and would be able to get some at-bats in the outfield when Utley returns. He's believed to be available via trade.

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3. Aki Iwamura - Currently at Triple-A for the Pirates, who designated him for assignment earlier this month but were unable to find anybody to trade for him. It doesn't help that Iwamura is guaranteed $4.85 million this season. He's available via trade.

Here are guys who have some name-value, but probably aren't fits:

1. Edwin Encarnacion - The 27-year-old Encarnacion is a right-handed bat who can still hit for power despite paltry contact numbers. In 120 at-bats for the Blue Jays this season, he hit 9 home runs, but hit just .200 with a .298 OBP. He hit .225/.320/.374 with 13 home runs in 293 at-bats for the Reds and Blue Jays last season. Encarnacion has a poor .938 career fielding percentage at third base, where he has played 569 of his 571 games. The Blue Jays designated him for assignment earlier this month.

2. Garrett Atkins - Atkins hasn't been a productive major leaguer since he hit .286 with 21 home runs in 2008. Since then, he has hit .223/.299/.326 with 10 home runs in 494 at-bats, including .214 with one home run in 140 at-bats for the Orioles this season. He's only 30, but was released by the Orioles.

3. Kaz Matsui - He fell out of favor with the Astros and was ultimately shipped to the Rockies, where he his hitting .228/.298/.287 in 26 games at Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Other players who could be available, but are unlikely because of either their salary or their likely asking price:

1. Dan Uggla, Marlins

2. Kelly Johnson, Diamondbacks

3. Jhonny Peralta, Indians

4. Rickie Weeks, Brewers

5. Aaron Hill, Blue Jays

6. Miguel Tejada, Orioles

 

 

David Murphy Daily News Staff Writer
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