Less than 24 hours after Chase Utley went on the DL with a broken hand, second baseman Tadahito Iguchi was acquired by the Phillies from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for a minor league reliever.
(From a Phillies Press Release): Iguchi, 32, was hitting .251/.340/.382 with 17 doubles, four triples, six home runs and 31 RBI in 90 games for the White Sox. In 16 games against the National League, he hit .311 (19-61). A native of Tokyo, Japan, Iguchi batted .281 last season with 18 home runs and 67 RBI in 138 games and appeared in 12 playoff games for Chicago in 2005. Prior to coming to the United States, Iguchi spent eight seasons with the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League, where he was a four-time All-Star and won three Gold Gloves as a second baseman. In 363 career games in the U.S. -- all with the White Sox -- he is a .273/.346/.419 hitter with 39 home runs and 169 RBI.
Dubee, 22, was 4-4 with one save and a 3.88 ERA in 30 relief appearances for single-A Lakewood. He is the son of Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee.
Beerleaguer: Why not? Iguchi, who could become a free agent after the season if his contract is not extended, is an excellent short-term rental and represents a clear upgrade over Abraham Nunez and Joe Thurston, and all it will cost them is the pitching coach's son, who is not a prospect. If memory serves, Iguchi also becomes the first Asian-born player to wear red pinstripes, so it's also a historic event.
Iguchi, a right-handed hitter, was rated as the 9th best AL second baseman according to Hardball Times Win Shares and registered 4.9 runs-created-per-game, just above what Greg Dobbs has contributed for the Phils. Iguchi will do nicely and give the Phillies better insurance and production in case Utley's recovery takes longer.
Update: Reader reaction: "Williams is clearly throwing Gillick a bone after the Garcia debacle. Iguchi is a solid player - Chi Sox should have gotten a solid AA prospect." - Kells
Update: White Sox fan reaction: The Sox are sitting on a 24-year-old Triple-A second baseman named Danny Richar and they'd like to see if he can play, so the general reaction is that it was time to close out the Iguchi chapter and move on. They would have liked to see more in return, but obviously there was no market for him until Utley got hurt. As discussed in our thread, Iguchi has a clause in his contract that says he must be extended or released after the season, and the White Sox weren't going to do that. The rules of draft compensation wouldn't apply.
Game chat: We're keeping it here tonight. Enjoy the game.