Phillies solve final outfield problem via trade with Rockies as Opening Day nears

The Phillies continued a busy Sunday by trading Jake Cave to the Colorado Rockies.
Philadelphia Phillies traded outfielder Jake Cave to the Colorado Rockies on Sunday
Philadelphia Phillies traded outfielder Jake Cave to the Colorado Rockies on Sunday / Dave Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

As the Philadelphia Phillies' Opening Day roster begins to take shape heading into the final few days of spring training, they have made an additional move in preparation for the start of the 2024 regular season. On a busy Sunday that saw the team extend reliever Matt Strahm, the Phillies also announced that they have traded Jake Cave to the Colorado Rockies for cash considerations.

Cave joined the club off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles during the 2022-23 offseason. With the Phillies hoping that he could add some much-needed pop in the lineup as a left-handed bench bat, Cave ended up struggling to a .212 batting average, .620 OPS, 69 OPS+, with just 18 runs scored, eight doubles, five home runs, 21 RBI, and three stolen bases in 65 games.

Although he made the postseason roster, he was used sparingly in the three playoff series. Primarily serving in a pinch-hitting role, he went 1-for-3 with a double and a strikeout.

Cave had some high hopes of providing a more significant impact for the Phillies heading into 2024. However, the emergence of defensive stalwart Johan Rojas, the key offseason addition of super utilityman Whit Merrifield, and the return of the incumbent Cristian Pache created a crowded outfield situation that needed to be rectified prior to the start of the season.

The 31-year-old had a solid spring at the plate, batting .324 with a .748 OPS, but being out of options meant the Phillies had to do something with him if he wasn't going to make the Opening Day roster. Instead of designating him for assignment and possibly losing him on waivers, the team decided to recoup something in return.

By moving Cave, the Phillies' outfield picture becomes much clearer. Rojas looks to begin the year as the starting center fielder, as MLB.com's Todd Zolecki expects, with Brandon Marsh in left and Pache and Merrifield serving as the extra outfielders going forward.

Cave will now get a big opportunity to get his career back on track by moving to the hitter-friendly ballpark of Coors Field. Nevertheless, we wish him all the best and thank him for his contributions last season in helping the Phillies reach the postseason.

manual