Phillies Outfield: Soriano, Ichiro, Swisher, Trumbo

Phillies have talked to the Cubs about acquiring Alfonso Soriano.In the last week or so the Hot Stove for the Philadelphia Phillies has been focused on filling the hole needed in not only the outfield but the lineup. The rumors started with Michael Bourn being signed for center field but eventually the hole was filled by the Phillies trading Vance Worley & Trevor May to the Minnesota Twins for Ben Revere. The move added a light hitting left handed bat so a power bat is still needed.

Philadelphia exploded when WIP’s Anthony Gargano reported the Phillies offered Josh Hamilton a 3-year, $80 million contract. Hamilton signed with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim today so that’s another outfielder off the list. The signing of Hamilton to Anaheim is something RAJ might look at because now outfielder/first baseman Mark Trumbo may be available. If they are able to land Trumbo he could be the power bat they need. Trumbo last year played left & right field and was on fire until a second half slump slowed him down considerably. He still managed to hit 32 home runs and knock in 95 RBI’s considering he only had 10 home runs and 38 runs batted in for the second half.

Later that night Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman reported the Phillies had contacted the Chicago Cubs about moving Domonic Brown for Alfonso Soriano if the Cubs would pay a majority of the salary Soriano is due. I believe I’m one of the few Phillies fans who think it’s way too early to give up on Brown with only 492 plate appearances in the major leagues and the injuries he’s head. People forget that the way he’s come up through the minor leagues and the accomplishments he had he’s only a 20th round draft pick in the 2006 MLB Draft. His ceiling was not expected to be as high as it grew after the career he had in the minors.

The idea of trading for Soriano is not an awful one but it’s obviously based off of last year’s numbers and that seems to have been a total aberration. Soriano hit 32 home runs with 108 runs batted in for Chicago and it was the first time he had reached those numbers since his last season with the Washington Nationals in 2006. For everyone worried about Michael Young‘s career low numbers last year with the Texas Rangers and adding a 36 year old outfielder coming off a abnormal season is not the way to go.

ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that Ichiro Suzuki was offered a 2-year, $14 million contract by the Phillies. What Ruben Amaro Jr. is thinking there can only make sense that he was offered the contract BEFORE they traded for Revere. If he was offered that after it doesn’t make sense. Ichiro is the exact opposite of what the team needs to be looking for. The 39-year-old left handed light hitting right fielder has not hit at least 10 home runs since 2009 when he hit 11 and I literally can’t put together a lineup where he would fit. Top of the order? Bottom of the order? You’d have an aging outfielder in right with still no power anyway and his OBP since 2010 have been career lows of .310/.307 with Seattle & the Yankees.

If the Phillies are worried about On-Base Percentage it’s time for Amaro to start sniffing around Nick Swisher. Many Phillies fans don’t like Swisher’s attitude (neither do I…trust me) but at this point there are not many options in the trade or free agent market. The 32-year-old could command a 4-year contract in the range of $40MM-$55MM and he’s more than likely not going to be worth the whole contract at the end but the right handed hitter has got on base at a career .361 clip and his power has never dipped below 20 home runs in his career. He had the second most strikeouts ever in his career last year but still hit .272. He can hit behind Ryan Howard in the #5 hole with Carlos Ruiz (when he returns from his suspension) behind him.

Another name that might strike Ruben Amaro Jr.’s interest is Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

At this point every outfielder who’s available has been linked to the Phillies including Cody Ross. Swisher is the name to sign at this point but who knows what Ruben has in mind with the Soriano talks and Ichiro offer.

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Derek Sabato

Derek Sabato is a longtime Philly sports fan who founded HighPhive.com in July, 2012. His passion is the Philadelphia Phillies, Eagles & Flyers. Rebounding to be a 76ers fan. He also runs and operates the @TheHighPhive on Twitter and The High Phive page on Facebook. He's very vocal about his Philly sports and his opinions. You can also follow him on his personal Twitter @DerekSabato.