LOS ANGELES — The Phillies made their first in-season trade of 2013, and it is far from the blockbuster moves people around baseball expect Ruben Amaro Jr. to make in the coming weeks. Veteran infielder John McDonald was acquired Thursday from Cleveland for a player to be named later or cash.
McDonald will join the Phillies at Dodger Stadium on Friday. The team will make a corresponding move then.
At the surface, it is a curious addition. The Phillies possess quality reserve infielders in Kevin Frandsen and Freddy Galvis. There are no known injuries to the current starting infield. A trade involving any of those players is quite unlikely, not until closer to the July 31 deadline when prices are highest.
McDonald, 38, is known for his glove. He can play second, shortstop and third. He is a career .236 hitter and is 2 for 38 this season for both Cleveland and Pittsburgh. The Indians designated him for assignment Wednesday.
The Phillies may decide it is time for Galvis to see regular playing time at triple-A Lehigh Valley. He has batted three times in the team's last nine games. Chase Utley's activation reduces Galvis' action. His numbers have slipped to a .207 batting average with a .637 OPS.
If they do send Galvis to the minors, the message is interesting. Charlie Manuel has long said he believes Galvis is better served being a bench player in the majors rather than a triple-A regular. The Phillies would be weakening their major-league roster in the name of development for the 23-year-old Galvis. The current team is clinging to dreams of contention.
McDonald offers a positive presence in the clubhouse and decent glove but not much else. Twelve of Galvis' 31 hits in 164 plate appearances are for extra bases; McDonald has 16 extra-base hits in his last 256 plate appearances.
Catcher Steve Lerud was outrighted from the 40-man roster to clear a spot there for McDonald.
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