The Archimedes Principle states that an object, when immersed in a fluid, is pushed upward with a force equal to the weight of the fluid that same object displaced. Practically speaking, this means that we can measure the volume of an object immersed in water by the volume of water it displaces.
Last night, Robert Murray reported that the A's signed former Royals DH Billy Butler. If we can say anything definitively about Billy Butler, it is this: he is a rotund man. Baseball-Reference has him listed at 6'1", 240 lbs. Archimedes' Principle states, then, that the A's signing of Billy Butler will displace other players in the organization. Last night, after the signing, A's blogger Jason Wojciechowski speculated which player, exactly, would be displaced by the immersion of Butlers immense volume into the Oakland roster. Since the Phillies are likely seeking depth to provide the necessary depth from which they may trade the carcasses of their veterans, any of these newly-fringy A's players might be of interest.
In what follows, I will evaluate the suitability of the likely Oakland outsiders. In order to be a viable Phillies target a player must meet 3 criteria:
- The long-term cost of acquiring him must be minimal. This means the Phillies won't have to part with any of their top prospects (Nola, Franco, Crawford, etc).
- He plays a position currently occupied by a player the Phillies likely want to trade (C, 1B, 2B, SS, RF).
- There's at least a chance he might be a contributor for the Phillies in 2017.