ESPN baseball writer Jayson Stark says the two sides are having “extensive conversations” about a deal that would send Kansas City left-hander Ron Mahay to the Phillies for Double-A shortstop Jason Donald.
Mahay, 37, is signed through next season at $4 million and is 5-0 with a 1.81 ERA and 42/21 K/BB ratio in 54.2 innings, holding left-handed batters to a .213 batting average. Donald, rated as the Phillies’ 15th-best prospect by Baseball America before the season, is hitting .304/.380/.506 with 14 homers and 9 SB with Double-A Reading. The 23-year-old shortstop will represent the United States in the Olympics.
Beerleaguer: Although his stock is on the rise because of his successful jump to Double-A, Donald, who bats from the right side, projects as a utility infielder with the Phillies because the middle infield is obviously blocked. He’s a little old for Double-A and scouts have questioned his range and arm strength. As a player, he’s considered a student of the game in the mold of Cal Ripken. For a team like Kansas City, he would become a regular player sooner rather than later. Donald, who's value might actually go down the longer he's stashed in the farm system, would be a nice little pickup for the rebuilding Royals.
Kansas City taxed Mahay for a ton of innings already this season (54.2). The left-hander has bounced around the league since 1995, with all but a few months service coming in the American League. A former replacement player and former outfielder, Mahay has had a very good career as a middle reliever and is having a fine campaign for the Royals, although he generally will not pitch on consecutive days. According to the reports, he’ll throw a low-90s sinker, slider and splitter. As a second left-hander out of the bullpen, you can’t do much better than Mahay.
Donald for Mahay would represent my idea of a fair trade between a rebuilding club and playoff hopeful. If it comes to fruition, this might be it for the Phillies before Thursday's non-waiver trade deadline.