The Phillies were expected to add at the trade deadline. Being in contention - STRONG contention - for a playoff spot will cause teams to make sure they are well suited to the grind of the final two months that lay ahead of them. The holes on the Phillies were glaring and obvious: center field and starting pitching. The team went out and fixed those holes, plugging the holes that needed to be filled.
Who knew that one of their better trades was the one that most people went “Who?” on.
2022 stats (w/ Phillies): 59 PA, .315/.345/.593, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 159 wRC+, 0.8 bWAR
Edmundo Sosa was almost exactly what the team needed at the deadline, even if most of the people watching the team didn’t know they needed him. Though Nick Maton is a something of a folk hero in the city, he’s not really major league caliber at three positions in the infield, let alone one of them. Sosa, though, has demonstrated in the past that he is capable of handling third base, shortstop and second base on a major league diamond for decent stretches of time. He lost playing time in St. Louis thanks to two players playing extremely well, making him expendable at the trade deadline for the Phillies to nab.
All they had to give up was a left handed reliever still recovering from Tommy John surgery in Jojo Romero.
It’s hard to give up players with team control, especially relievers, when the bullpen is one of your weakest parts of the roster. The Phillies, though, saw enough from Sosa that they wanted him to use many ways on their own team - defensive sub, high level player to get a start when a starter needs rest, pinch hitter. His slash line is excellent of course, but the small sample size argument still applies.
It could be argued that he wasn’t really acquired for his bat. The team wanted him as a defensive substitution late in games, something he did in eleven out of twenty-five games with the Phillies. When he did get starts, he went off at the plate, hitting with a 1.044 OPS as a starter in Philadelphia. He had plenty of highlights, too.
If he was that good with the Phillies, why didn’t he start in St. Louis?
Tommy Edman was having an excellent season at shortstop, playing solid defense and hitting reasonably well to boot. Nolan Gorman was the guy at second base that supplanted Sosa, making him a little easier to trade in the eyes of the Cardinals. Both of those players were hitting better than Sosa and with someone like Paul DeJong on the roster to fill his spot, Sosa could have been used to shore up other areas.
Still, it makes you wonder why the team would give up a player with the team control that Sosa had for someone like Romero.
Prior to the team bringing in Trea Turner, there seemed to be a contingent of fans that thought Sosa might be an option at shortstop should the team need one. Look hard enough and you might even find someone who prefers Sosa to Alec Bohm at third base.
Folks, that’s just plain silly.
Wanting Sosa to be the starter at third base is akin to wanting the backup quarterback starting more games. It’s great on paper until you actually see it put into practice. Sosa is a fine player, one who definitely serves a purpose on a championship caliber team. He’s a more than capable substitute if he is needed to play for a week or two. That’s probably the limit of how much you want him getting regular playing time.
Great guy. Perfect piece of the Phillies roster puzzle.