Hours after the Toronto Blue Jays designated him for assignment, the Phillies have reportedly added the American League veteran for the stretch run, according to FoxSports. [Link]
Stairs was hitting .250/.342/.394 with 11 home runs this season. A veteran of 16 seasons, the New Brunswick, Canada native has had a solid career, hitting .266/.358/.482 with 252 home runs with 10 different clubs, most of his action coming against right-handed pitching. Stairs was designated for assignment after Thursday night’s 3-2 loss to Tampa Bay. Playing in the American League since 2004, he’s been used primarily as a designated hitter and corner outfielder, but can also play first. He’s under contract through 2009 and is set to make $1 million next season. The Phils will reportedly send a prospect to Toronto.
Beerleaguer: Raise your hand if you knew this day would come, Matt Stairs in red pinstripes. And wouldn’t this be a fitting last move for Pat Gillick? Here’s Stairs, a 5-9, 210-pound bundle of AL obscurity, a no-frills professional hitter who’s ancient, available after the non-waiver deadline and Canadian to boot, eh?
It’s actually similar to the Jeff Conine acquisition of ’06 in many ways, another move that came after the non-waiver deadline. Like Conine, who was also 40 at the time of the trade, Stairs fills a void as an extra outfield bat, one that grew even larger when Geoff Jenkins landed on the DL. They also absorb next year’s contract, just like Conine. I’m not worried about that; they moved Conine the following spring with relative ease. It’s also similar to the Conine situation in that he’s added during the throes of a Pat Burrell slump.
With Jenkins out for an undetermined amount of time, Stairs, who's a Jenkins clone only with a worse glove, could jump into the starting lineup as early as this series against right-handed pitching. He still possesses good power against righties; all 21 of his home runs last season came off right-handed pitching. (Has there ever been a team with so many lopsided splits on one roster?)
After missing out on Mark Kotsay, I like this utilitarian addition.