A day after agreeing in principle with backup infielder Juan Castro, the Phillies added more depth and versatility to the outfield and infield.
Outfielder DeWayne Wise, 31, a veteran of seven Major League seasons with the Blue Jays, Braves, Reds and White Sox, has been signed to a minor league deal after hitting .225/.262/.366 in 153 plate appearances from the left side in a bench role with Chicago, splitting time in the minor leagues. Lifetime, he’s a .216/.255/.380 hitter (61 OPS+), settling into a mostly quad-A career playing all three outfield positions, serving as a defensive replacement in the majors. Fans may recognize him as the player who saved Mark Buehrle’s perfect game with a leaping grab against the wall. [Watch it here]. He’s a similar animal to Jason Ellison, the veteran outfielder who was brought in on a minor league deal last offseason and spent the entire season in Lehigh Valley. With the departure of Matt Stairs, there’s an opening for a fifth outfielder, particularly one who bats from the left side, so Wise could be in the mix this spring for a final spot. But with the presence of Ben Francisco as the primary defensive caddy for Raul Ibanez, Wise, who doesn't hit for power, is likely pegged for Allentown.
Valdez is your garden variety utility player headed to Triple-A after serving as a band-aid for a battered Mets team, where he hit .256/.326/.337 in 95 plate appearances, starting 23 games at short in place of Jose Reyes. Lifetime, the 31-year-old is a .222/.272/.292 hitter (51 OPS+) in parts of four seasons with the White Sox, Mariners, Padres, Dodgers and Mets. Shortstop has been his primary position throughout his career. I won’t pretend to be the world’s foremost expert on Valdez, but from what I can tell, he’s worse than Castro and was signed to be Lehigh Valley’s shortstop. The IronPigs have virtually no infield.
But wait; there's more: The Phillies resigning minor league right-handers Jason Anderson and Alexander Concepcion, first baseman Andy Tracy and outfielder Rich Thompson, according to Baseball America. Tomorrow might be Turkey Day, but today, Pigs ruled, in the world of the Phillies.