Phillies Rumors: Philadelphia Still Looking for Extra Infielder


With their Opening Day only a week away, the Philadelphia Phillies have yet to make a move for an additional infielder.  Once it was determined that Chase Utley and Michael Martinez would join Ryan Howard on the sidelines for the start of the regular season, many assumed the Phillies would pursue infield insurance.  Jon Heyman of reported yesterday that the Phillies are “still looking” for an extra infielder, but they are also “close to tapped out” for money.

For this reason Philadelphia is unable, or at least hesitant, to bring on a player with a hefty contract.  There are several such options out there, Jason Bartlett and Orlando Hudson of the San Diego Padres, but this isn’t something the Phillies are comfortable doing with their current payroll situation.

This also means that the Phillies would much rather trade Joe Blanton, who’s seen as one of Philadelphia’s largest trade chips (in more ways than one), for salary relief.  The Phillies aren’t as interested dealing Blanton if it means taking on an equal or near-equal salary or eating a ton of the right-hander’s tab.

It was rumored that the Phillies and Angels may be a match, as LA has been tied to Blanton-like starters for much of the offseason.  However, LA is not in a much better position when it comes to payroll and would likely ask Philadelphia to send significant money along with Blanton in exchange for an Alberto Callaspo or Maicer Izturis.

There is also the question of whether or not the Phillies are still interested in parting with Blanton.  With the injury and release of Joel Pinero and the Phils depth uncertainty behind their starting five, some speculate the Phillies are much less inclined to deal Blanton than was initially thought.

The two players that seem to make the most sense for Philadelphia are San Francisco Giants infielders Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot. The former LSU teammates are each reportedly on the market and would offer the Phillies a veteran answer for their questionable infield.  Theriot and Fontenot each provide their own unique skill set, but each is scheduled to receive roughly $1 million in 2012.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. continues to say that he’s comfortable entering the season with rookie Freddy Galvis as his everyday man at second.  While this might be the case, it would certainly allow Phillies brass and fans alike to sleep easier knowing a veteran reserve was waiting in the wings.

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