The time is right for the Phillies to fly under the radar with a move that nobody saw coming. Using deductive reasoning, Beerleaguer attempts to remain one step ahead.
Question: Where do Phillies players come from? Answer: Seattle. Question: What type of players do the Phillies prefer? Answer: Versatile, economic, students of the game. Question: What do the Phillies need? Answer: A right-handed bat and infield/outfield depth. And thus, the needle points to one player who meets these criteria: All-purpose reservist Willie Bloomquist, who was non-tendered by the Mariners. In six years with Seattle, the 31-year-old Scott Boras client played eight different positions and hit .263/.322/.324 with 6 homers and 71 stolen bases, including a .279/.377/.285 line last season. Statistically, the former third-rounder, who plays the field evenly, would represent a slight upgrade over Eric Bruntlett.
A move to the National League might allow for Bloomquist to flourish, a la Greg Dobbs following his move from Seattle to Philadelphia. In a recent interview, “Bloomie” says he thinks he’s meant for the National League at this point in his career and expressed a desire in joining a playoff-caliber team with a positive clubhouse. The Phillies represent such an opportunity, with a chance to start right out of the chute if Chase Utley or Pedro Feliz cannot recover in time for opening day.
Help meh! As most of you know, I’m hard at work putting the finishing touches on a 2009 Phillies Preview magazine due out close to the start of spring training. I thought it would be neat to include a two-page directory listing places to watch the Phillies if you’re living outside the area. The Boston editor did this last season and it seems like a good resource. Feel free to pass along some names in the comment field and you will be in the running for a pair of Phillies cufflinks.