In a mostly unpopular move, the Phillies tendered John Mayberry Jr. a contract earlier this month instead of letting him go. But did they have other motives?
In his mailbag today, Jim Salisbury suggested the Phillies may have tendered Mayberry a contract "so they wouldn't hurt his value in a trade."
What trade value a player like Mayberry could possibly have is a bit puzzling, since he's regressed at the plate overall, against lefties and in the field in each of the past three seasons. At age 30, Mayberry just isn't justifiably a prospect anymore.
Maybe Ruben Amaro Jr. really believes he has a potential trade partner lined up, but considering the $1.5 million Mayberry is likely to get in arbitration, that's an expensive gamble for what would be a low-to-mid level prospect at best.
Especially considering the Phillies tipped their hand earlier this month when Ryne Sandberg admitted on Philly Sports Talk that he'd like to add a right-handed hitting centerfielder.
"Another thing we'd like to do is add some possible depth in the outfield defense, primarily a right-handed centerfielder," Sandberg said. "So we've got some time before the first day of spring training, but that's another possibility and another added guy, depth in the outfield, with improved defense and a right-handed bat."
Apparently Mayberry isn't that guy for Sandberg, but maybe (hopefully) he can be for another club.
The Phillies and Ryan Madson reportedly have mutual interest in a reunion, and more could develop after Madson auditions for teams in what should be early 2014.
The 33-year-old hasn't thrown a single pitch since Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS. He's the type of low-risk, high-reward player Amaro often seeks out, but one who has a very good chance of working out if he is indeed healthy this season.