Jun 302010

June 30 Philadelphia Daily News

“Essentially, there are two classes of players who could be available to the Phillies via trade or free agency – aging veterans who would come cheap, and brand-name quantities playing for struggling teams. Here’s a look at some realistic options in the wake of yesterday’s news that both Chase Utley and Placido Polanco were put on the disabled list.

1. Mark Grudzielanek, free agent: The 40-year-old veteran, who did not play last season, was 30-for-110 (.273) with a .328 on-base percentage and .273 slugging percentage with no home runs for the Indians this season. He’s a career .986 fielder at second base and is available to sign after being released earlier this month.

2. Ty Wigginton, Baltimore: The Orioles have a scout following the Phillies in Cincinnati. The knock on Wigginton is his fielding. But despite mediocre-to-poor 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.

3. Kelly Johnson, Arizona: The Diamondbacks’ second baseman is owed about $1.2 million for the rest of the season, after which he will become a free agent. A 28-year-old lefthanded bat, he had a career .787 on-base percentage plus slugging and had 13 home runs in 276 at-bats this season entering last night’s game. He’s also 14-for-45 with a .941 OPS in his career as a pinch-hitter. Only question is whether the Phillies would be willing to meet the struggling D-backs’ asking price.

4. Aki Iwamura, Pittsburgh: He is 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 the 31-year-old Iwamura, who hit .290 in 69 games for the Rays last season, is guaranteed $4.85 million this season. He’s available cheap via trade.”