Phillies make it official: They’ve acquired Jose Bautista from the Mets for a PTBNL or cash considerations.— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) August 28, 2018
RHP Mark Leiter Jr. has been DFA’d to open a spot on the 40-man.
Well, we know why. First off, they didn’t give up much — just cash or a player to be named later. And second, the Phillies just need bench dudes right now. Of the three hitters they’ve acquired via trade since the end of July, only one of them has turned out to be worth it, and he’s only been steadily available for barely two weeks. Wilson Ramos has been the spark this offense has needed. Asdrubal Cabrera has been a muppet-faced out machine, and Justin Bour is on the disabled list with a strained oblique.
It’s Bour’s injury that seemed to spur the Phillies to look outside the organization for bench help. They didn’t look far, and what they found was Jose Bautista. Not the Jose Bautista from days of yore, but the Men In Black version. A weird, uncomfortable alien is wearing Jose Bautista’s skin, and that’s just what he is now. He’s hitting .196/.339/.364 for the year, with one month spent with the Braves and the other three with the Mets. He hit a nearly inexcusable .143/.250/.343 with the Braves and was released on May 21, and was picked up by the Mets a day later. He’s hit .204/.351/.367 with the Metropolitans, with 51 walks and nine home runs in 302 plate appearances.
If Bautista is the solution, I don’t think I even know what the problem is. Right now, they just need a bench guy who can go out there and not be Dylan Cozens or Mitch Walding. Since Jose Bautista is Jose Bautista and not those two other guys, the job is his. Who knows, maybe we’ll see some late-season, late-career heroics from Bautista. But don’t hold your breath.