The Phillies have made a minor trade with days left until the MLB trade deadline.
Phillies general manager Matt Klentak told fans that the team will focus on making minor moves this summer, moves similar to those made in 2008 that built the bench. Klentak stuck true to his word with a minor trade Saturday afternoon, acquiring utilityman Jose Pirela from the San Diego Padres for cash considerations.
Pirela, 29, will report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and reliever Tommy Hunter was placed on the 60-day injured list.
Pirela has spent all but two games in Triple-A this season hitting a phenomenal .353 with 18 home runs, but was designated for assignment on July 22. He primarily played second and left field this season, but has played every fielding position except catcher in his career.
In 290 major league games over six seasons, including two games this year, Pirela is a .258 hitter with 16 home runs and a .307 on-base percentage. The most playing time he got came last year with 473 plate appearances hitting .249 with five home runs.
Pirela’s best season was in 2017 when he hit 10 home runs with a .288 batting average in 83 games for San Diego.
Philadelphia could control Pirela’s rights for several years as he enters his first arbitration-eligible offseason.
The addition of Pirela comes after the Phillies lost utilitymen Brad Miller and Sean Rodriguez to injuries. In a deal that costs the Phillies nothing but cash, it could be a great low-risk high-reward move if Pirela shows even a flash of what he’s done in Triple-A this year.
Philadelphia has suffered from critical injuries all season long, highlighted by Andrew McCutchen’s torn ACL and Jay Bruce’s oblique injury. Hopefully Pirela can provide some much-needed depth and ability off the bench, something the Phillies haven’t had all season.