Friday, March 27, 2009

Phillies acquire lefty Jack Taschner for Ronny Paulino, roster looks to be taking shape

Well, that didn't take long! Two days after the Phillies announced that they were looking to trade catcher Ronny Paulino, they found a taker: the San Francisco Giants acquired Paulino from the Phils for lefty reliever Jack Taschner. The trade of Paulino officially makes Chris Coste the backup catcher for this season, or until Lou Marson is ready. The acquisition of Taschner will have a domino affect on the final Opening Day roster spots and also tells us who will win the 5th starter spot.

Taschner, 31, will be the Phillies second lefty option out of the pen after Scott Eyre. Taschner lost his spot in the Giants bullpen seemingly the moment they brought in Jeremy Affeldt in the offseason, so he became expendable. He hasn't put up great numbers in the past, including a career ERA over 5, so I wouldn't expect him to start mowing hitters down now. He is likely expected to hold down his spot for about 50 games, or until J.C. Romero is back from suspension.

This trade gives the Phillies 12 pitching spots for their Opening Day roster and it likely means that J.A. Happ has won the 5th starter spot and Chan Ho Park will start the season in the bullpen. If Happ was going to be starting the year in the bullpen, the Phils would have no reason to go out and get another lefty.

This move also means that the Phillies will have one less bat for their bench, meaning either Matt Stairs or Miguel Cairo has to go. The smart money right now would be on Cairo winning the spot because the Phillies need another right handed bat, but it's still tough seeing Stairs getting cut. The Phils could always trade Geoff Jenkins and keep Stairs around, although I doubt anyone would want to take on Jenkins' salary.

Ronny Paulino was acquired from the Pirates in the offseason for catcher Jason Jaramillo, so this trade essentially works out as Jaramillo for Taschner. While Taschner is nothing special, he will fill a specific role that the Phillies really needed.

In all, a nice move by GM Ruben Amaro but nothing to get too excited about.

1 comment:

GM-Carson said...

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