CINCINNATI – By acquiring veteran Asdrubal Cabrera from the New York Mets in exchange for the prospect of Franklyn Kilome on Friday, the Phillies believe they've completed the largest item on their deadline wish list.
"I think he answers our most urgent need that was more offense in the infield," said General Manager Matt Klentak shortly after the conclusion of the contract.
Klentak said he expects Cabrera to go to the Phillies in time for the Saturday night game in Cincinnati
Now The question becomes: where does the 32-year-old switch hitter? He was the second baseman of the Mets this season. He has been a shortstop regularly over the past few years. He can also play on third base.
The Phillies from first place are quite happy with their starter baseman Cesar Hernandez, and the third baseman Maikel Franco has been in such a tear for over a month that he has played himself
The most obvious place for Cabrera would be shortstop, where rookie Scott Kingery has just 0.61
"I do not necessarily agree that Kingery will be the one to bear the brunt, Klentak said," I think we like the way Scott has developed as a defender at Shortstop and we like the way he does it He's been swinging the bat lately and of course we're thinking a lot about the player.
"I think Scott Kingery will continue to play fairly regularly and Asdrubal will be working on a few different spots and we will make sure all these guys get reps and ultimately that we are the most competitive lineup on a
" Asdrubal has a track record in the batter's box. He's a switch hitter, which means he'll have the move every time he's in the batter's box. And as important as anything, he covers us in three defensive positions, and since we wanted to make a pennant, the idea of finding a player who could provide that flexibility was really important.
"I'd expect to see him. He's second, short and third at times, and if he does not play, he'll be a very dangerous thug from the bench. It's an excellent roster for this current group of Phillies and in particular, I think its positional flexibility in a position where we can continue to let play our young players.This acquisition does not prohibit any of our young players a full-time bankroll, and I think that's also important. "
Klentak praised the Ability of Manager Gabe Kapler to use all players and place the players in positions. When the going gets tough, look for Kapler to find a way to find Cabrera more often in the lineup. He hit 277 with 18 home runs, 58 RBIs and an 817 OPS in 98 games with the Mets this season.
The Phillies had gone to great lengths to add a bat to their infield, but were unable to land Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles. The Phils also looked at Eduardo Escobar of Minnesota, who was handed out to Arizona. Cabrera is a two-time All-Star with a .270 career average and .756 OPS in 12 major league seasons.
What's next for the Phillies? Will they make another deal before trading without trading? Sources say they are still interested in Baltimore's outfielder Adam Jones and the Dallas Morning News reports that the Phils have shown interest in a power outfielder Joey Gallo of the Texas Rangers. Both would probably come as complementary players in the outfield when a deal would take place.
"I think that was our most urgent need, so it was important that we did it," Klentak said of the Cabrera deal. "Of course we still have a couple of days until the submission deadline and we will continue to make phone calls and look for ways to upgrade this club, and with each move we are considering, we will continue to balance and become the present and the future I would not rule out another move, but I would not predict it either. "
Six weeks ago, the Phillies were looking for upgrades to third base and bullpen. But Franco has become a difference maker on the plate and the Bullpen was the best in baseball in July. That's not to say the Phillies would not add a helper if it was a seizure. It could not be that urgent.
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