Ex-Phillies outfielder sounds less than thrilled after being traded to the Rockies

Jake Cave didn't sound happy after being dealt to Colorado, and it's hard to blame him.
Former Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Jake Cave was traded to the Colorado Rockies on Sunday
Former Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Jake Cave was traded to the Colorado Rockies on Sunday / Adam Hunger/GettyImages

Player trades are a reality and an inevitable part of professional sports. While fans can be happy or sad to see certain players leave their favorite team, players are also people and sometimes can't hide their feelings about swapping jerseys.

Recently traded Jake Cave doesn't sound too happy after being traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the Colorado Rockies for cash considerations on Sunday. On Monday morning, Cave showed up at the Rockies' spring training clubhouse in Scottsdale, Arizona, and spoke to the media about leaving the Phillies and joining Colorado.

In a clip posted by The Denver Post's Rockies beat writer Patrick Saunders, Cave, adorned in a new Rockies headband, gave his thoughts about being traded. Reading between the lines, his body language, and general demeanor, the former Phillies bench player didn't seem thrilled with the sudden move.

"It's definitely a surprise, especially when you get down this late in camp," Cave said. "You don't really know what's going to happen, but you never think with a day left in camp they're going to trade you. But it is what it is."

It is what it is. Usually, athletes can muster at least a couple of more inspiring clichés to pretend they're pleased to be in their new surroundings. You usually hear a "I'm happy to be here," or a "I'm excited to be able to contribute," but Cave didn't seem to be in that headspace during his initial foray into the Rockies organization.

Roster Resource put Cave in a bench spot on the Rockies' projected Opening Day roster, so it looks like he'll get major-league at-bats, for which he sounds grateful.

"It's weird going to a new team that you don't know or anything like that," Cave said. "But now that I'm here I feel comfortable, I'm ready to go. Any team that's willing to give me a jersey to play baseball, I'm ready to go, so it is what it is."

Even after a strong spring training showing, the writing was on the wall for Cave. He was battling the younger, defensively talented Cristian Pache for the final outfield bench spot. With both players out of options, someone would be the odd man out. Unfortunately, Cave's left-handed bat wasn't enough for the Phillies to keep him around.

Cave leaves World Series contender for a last place Rockies team

You can't blame the guy. He left a Phillies team that had just made two deep postseason runs in an atmosphere he described as incredible in a conversation with That Ball's Outta Here over the offseason.

"It was the craziest thing I've ever seen," Cave recalled of the playoff atmosphere. "Going out and lining up during the playoffs, and the place is going crazy when we're doing the national anthem, and doing the lineups. I kind of teared up. It was something I've never experienced before. It was cool. ... It was amazing."

He also spoke about the Philadelphia clubhouse during the January interview, which lived up to its reputation in Cave's mind.

"They're passionate, they want to win, they want to play hard, but they also like to have fun," he said. "They understand that having a good clubhouse is a crucial part of having a good team. It was awesome."

It's well-known that the left-handed hitting Cave couldn't put together enough offense with the Phillies despite putting up massive numbers in Triple-A. In 2023, he hit .346 with a 1.113 OPS and 16 home runs in 275 plate appearances with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. While he had his moments with the Phillies, he hit just .212. with a .620 OPS and five home runs in 203 plate appearances in the majors.

Now the 31-year-old joins his fourth major league organization, going from a World Series contender to a Rockies club that doesn't look to have any hope of seeing the postseason. FanGraphs projects Colorado to go 63-99 and finish last in the tough NL West.

Regardless of the circumstances, we wish Cave all the best with the Rockies. It won't be long before he's back in Citizens Bank Park, as his new club will be in Philadelphia for a three-game set from April 15 to 17.

It is what it is.