Hi there, Baltimore. I’m writing to you today from Phillies-land, where what was once a golden age of prosperity and success has quickly faded into a rather awful two-month stretch that has seen the Phillies drop to third in their division.
I’m hardly one to complain to your fan base, though, and I’m not about to cry woe and ask for sympathy. Instead, I think we have an opportunity here to help one another out.
You might have heard that we’ll be missing half of our starting infield for at least a month, and with Chase Utley set to miss closer to two months, we may be in need of some infield help.
Rumor has it, you have this Ty Wigginton fellow that impressed so many people earlier this season, and another rumor has it that Philly brass is looking into acquiring Wiggy. While I’m not totally convinced this would be the right move right now, it does seem to make some sense. We have a need, you have the supply.
Say a deal becomes more likely, talks escalate, and a swap eventually happens. Who would you get in return? Wigginton wouldn’t fetch any of the top tier talents in the Philly system – Domonic Brown, Jarred Cosart or Jon Singleton – the return could still be intriguing. Here are a couple of players that could be discussed in a potential swap.
Jiwan James, CF (21)
Still a bit raw, James has tools to be a good ML regular with a good glove and quickness. At 6’4″, 180 lbs., his body has some room to fill out, but he’s not expected develop anything past gap power.
Jonathan Villar, SS (19)
A teammate of James’s, Villar is a free swinger that profiles similarly to James but with better speed and glove. He’d likely be the top talent dealt.
Matthew Way, SP (23)
He’s a bit old for High-A, so take his 81:26 K-to-BB in 86.1 IP ratio with a grain of salt. He does still have some projectability left, though.
Quintin Berry, CF (25)
He’s got a good eye (33 BB to 47 K in 222 at-bats in AA), but is only batting .207 and slugging .284, so he’s likely not an appetizing piece for Baltimore at this point. At one time, he was pegged as a potential regular, but has seen his production fall off in recent years.
Vance Worley, SP (22)
Worley is an interesting case. Doesn’t have overwhelming K numbers, yet doesn’t get a high number of ground balls while managing to keep his ERA respectable (3.71 through 16 starts in a repeat of AA, improving on a 5.34 mark in 2009). He doesn’t give up many home runs, though, and his walk rates were excellent prior to jumping above three per nine here in 2010. I see him as a roll of the dice, but a flexible guy who could plug a hole in the front end of a ‘pen or back end of a rotation.
Not the most glamorous of lists, I know, but it’s the quality likely expected to be tossed about in trade discussions for Wigginton. The Phillies do have some interesting pieces beyond the Browns and Cosarts – if not in immediate impact, then in projectability – which MacPhail and Co. could find agreeable.
For the time being, it seems the Phillies are content to work with some bizarre carousel of Valdez, Castro, Ransom and Dobbs at second and third in Polanco and Utley’s absences. Should anything else happen or a change of heart occur, rest assured that Ruben Amaro, Jr. will come a-calling.