While much of the rumor and speculation around the Phillies leading up to this trade deadline has centered around blockbuster-type deals for righty bats like Hunter Pence or Carlos Beltran, not much attention has been paid to more under-the-radar type targets. As we’ve noted time and time again… there really is no need for the Phillies to do anything drastic here at the trade deadline. Giving up top prospects for a rental like Beltran simply makes no sense.
That said, the Phillies could benefit from an extra right handed bat in the outfield. One possible target, who would fit the Phillies needs and cost very little, is Reed Johnson of the Cubs. The 34 year old makes only $900K this year, so cost is no issue. He’s set to be a free agent after the season, so you’re not locked into anything long term. The Cubs are awful, so they wouldn’t benefit at all by keeping him. Finally, Buster Olney reports that it would take very little to get him.
The real attraction, as Onley notes, is that Johnson owns left handed pitching this year. He’s posted an on-base percentage of .407 and an OPS of nearly 1.000. As a platoon type player or simply a guy to break up the lefty heavy lineup against a particularly good lefty pitcher, Johnson could be plenty valuable for the Phillies in the playoffs.
Not a sexy move, but with the best record in baseball, the best run differential in the NL and almost 30 games over .500, the Phillies don’t need a sexy move.