Nice Guy Eddie Wade did Tim Worrell a favor, trading him to the Arizona Diamondbacks and closer to his home of Scottsdale. In the wake of the "personal problems" that led to nearly two months on the disabled list, and the fact that Worrell's role as closer-pedigreed set-up man was filled by Ugueth Urbina in the meantime, Worrell seemed expendable. His numbers in July, while not great, had been much better than his nightmarish April and May line, and most of us were hoping for at least a useful piece in return for the mercurial Worrell, despite his dreadful performance earlier this season.
Enter Matt Kata.
A 27 year old switch-hitting utility infielder type, Kata seemingly offers little to nothing of value, even in the department of versatile utility players. The Phils already have no fewer than two ho-hum backup infielders in Perez and Martinez. Add in the fact that Wade agreed to pick up an indeterminate amount of Worrell's pro-rated $3.05M salary, and you have a pretty underwhelming trade.
Kata is primarily a second baseman, so one wonders what the motivation was in acquiring him in light of the emergence of Chase "Can't Hit Lefties" Utley. In 2003 and 2004, Kata played 26 games at third base... could Wade be looking for a platoon partner for David Bell, whose numbers against righties this season include a positively Jeltzian .530 OPS, but who's been mashing lefties all season to the tune of a 1.062 OPS and .414 BA? Kata, however, shows little or no aptitude in hitting lefties or righties sufficiently (.701 OPS batting left, .727 OPS batting right). Kata was batting .312 at AAA Tucson (a hitters' park in a hitters' league, if I understand correctly). The odds of Phillies' management benching a veteran with a big contract, even if he's struggling mightily, are about as good as getting laid at a funeral.
Another chapter in the long story of Ed Wade only being willing to trade players for guys with major league experience. I think most of us would have preferred a couple guys to fill out the farm system, and maybe a projectable arm or something. But instead they got a guy who they're going to sell as a Placido Polanco replacement, and that's just bull.
Wade won't learn. He keeps picking up these fungible relievers, pays them a ton of money, loses payroll flexibility, and then gets burned and stuck with the likes of Matt Kata. Covering parts of Worrell's salary is just insult to injury.