Jorge Mateo, INF/UTL, Baltimore Orioles
Mateo is a 28-year-old shortstop who has made a name for himself with his glove. As good as his defense has been since his Major League debut in 2020, his offense has left a lot to be desired.
In 2023, he slashed .217/.267/.607 with a strikeout rate of 23.4 percent and a walk rate of 6.3 percent. But the Phillies don’t need him for his offense. They would be looking to him as a defensive replacement in late-game scenarios, à la Edmundo Sosa or the failed mid-season acquisition experiment of Rodolfo Castro.
Mateo also has game-changing speed and could provide a valuable pinch-running punch in those same late-game scenarios. In just 113 games played, Mateo stole 32 bags which was good for 11th in all of baseball. Only one player in front of him played fewer games, and seven of the 10 ahead of him played over 150 games. Speed kills, and the Phillies could always use more of it.
The speedy infielder isn't a player that will single-handily carry a team to the playoffs and beyond, but luckily for him and the Phillies, they wouldn’t need him to. He would be a complementary piece to a championship-caliber team that could use his specific set of skills.