Schwimer Dealt to Jays – Phillies Nation

Schwimer Dealt to Jays Salisbury of CSN is reporting that Michael Schwimer, originally scheduled to pitch today for the Phils, has been traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for 1B Art Charles. Schwimer, 27, had a 4.62 ERA in 47 games for the Phillies across 2011 and 2012. Schwimer averages over a strikeout per inning in Major League action and helped stabilize the bullpen as the Phillies made a second-half charge in 2012. Charles, 22, is a 6’6″ first baseman out of Bakersfield College, originally drafted in the 20th round of the 2010 MLB Draft. Charles has a career .239/.358/.482 Minor League triple-slash in three seasons. Charles has power and the ability to get on base but is not projected by many to reach the Majors.

Analysis: This one is a tricky one to figure out. Schwimer likely fell out of favor with management when he sought a second opinion for his injury last August but was pitching well enough to stay with the club regardless. Schwimer was thought to have an outside shot to make the club out of camp and almost guaranteed to see at least some time with the club during the season if someone went down with injury. His absence will improve the odds of Phillippe Aumont and Justin De Fratus making the team.

As a side note, Schwimer was the first player I ever interviewed. He was a gracious guy, never turned down an interview, and a friend of the site. We at Phillies Nation wish him the best of luck in Toronto.



  1. Jaron B

    February 23, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Wow. A guy who’s a major-league ready righty for a 1B slugger who may not make the majors, especially with Howard, Ruf & Mayberry able to play 1B. Interesting trade. I myself wish Schwimer luck in Toronto.

  2. Dave P

    February 23, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Good luck Schwim Jim. Sounds like we have you away for nothing though.

  3. Bruce

    February 23, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Without speculating in any off field issues with Schwimer (no one has any facts), I think he is just expendable thanks to the many talented young arms in the bullpen.

    Who knows what a young 22 year old Art Charles may bring to the Phillies in the future. His time of development in the minors will decide that.

    • EricL

      February 23, 2013 at 6:49 pm

      Charles is garbage organizational filler. This was all about getting rid of Michael Schwimer because management soured on him.

      Look at it this way:

      When was the last time the Phillies received a major-league ready player for a guy in Williamsport?

  4. bacardipr

    February 23, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    In all honesty i knew he would get traded or cut for a while now.

  5. Bart Shart

    February 23, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    We gave away a decent prospect for a guy that will be out of baseball in a year. Can’t the numbskull front office trade horses, or what ? We could have done much better here. Damn it!

  6. Chuck A.

    February 23, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Well, at least we won’t have to watch him pointing to the sky (as if the batter hit a pop-up to the infield when it was really a long fly ball to the warning track) anymore.

  7. John

    February 23, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    There’s a surplus of bullpen arms. He was not likely to start the year in the Majors. The Phillies were going to have to clear a spot on the 40 man a month into the season for when Chooch comes back. This is better than sitting around, hoping someone will clear waivers to get them off the 40 man. Getting anything for a 27 year old relief prospect when everyone knew you’d probably be exposing him to waivers soon anyway is a good deal.

  8. Bart Shart

    February 23, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    No, it is a sh!!!y deal. Should have traded him earlier and tried to get something promising. The bad timing is the Phillies fault 100%. They knew what they had in Schwimmer and there are plenty of position players better than Charles, who is limited to just one position and has not shown an iota of ability at the plate. The Phils would have been better off giving Schwimmer away. Charles will only clog the minors, cost money and turn out to be a major failure.

    • bizzy

      February 23, 2013 at 7:48 pm

      The Phils “knew what they had” in Schwimmer? What they had was a pretty mediocre middle-innings reliever who was less valuable and talented than either DeFratus, Stutes, or Aumont. If i had one inning to pitch for my life, I’d put Durbin in there before him as well. He wasn’t going to pitch here.

      Charles could get repackaged in another trade or even blossom in a couple of years. Having said that, even if he doesn’t, Ruben only made this trade b/c of the falling out between Schwimmer and ownership. Hard to fault him here.

      • EricL

        February 23, 2013 at 11:55 pm

        Are you suicidal? Because at this point in his career Chad Durbin is no better, and probably worse, than Schwimer.

        If your life depended on an inning I’d feel bad for you if you were relying on Durbin. I’d also tell you to get some new friends or stop betting with mafia members or something, because how the hell did you get into a situation where your life depended on the outcome of a baseball inning?!

  9. Double Trouble Del

    February 23, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    How have so many people been able to watch Charles in a minor league game to know that he is an organizational filler? It appears that his numbers have improved over the last year. He is 6’6″ and 22 and may indeed have something to offer the Phils in the future, or not.

    Obviously something in the last ten days changed how the Phillies value Schwimer. They already knew over the winter Schwimer was an insubordinate employee with the potential of health issues. The questions is why was the move made at this time?

    • EricL

      February 23, 2013 at 11:50 pm

      DTD, there’s this thing called “the internet” that has lots of stuff on it, like videos of baseball games, scouting reports, statistical records of past performance, and lots of other interesting information. It really lets people learn a lot about things relatively quickly from the comfort of their own home.

      You should check it out sometime.

      • Double Trouble Del

        February 24, 2013 at 8:25 am

        EricL exactly how many PAs did you watch on line. If it is more than one or two, please tell me where I can find the site and I will be happy to check it out. I checked fangraphs and baseball reference as I usually do and nothing that I could extrapolate from that information indicated that Charles was a budding superstar but nothing told me that he should be thrown on the scrap heap either.

  10. Brett

    February 23, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Don’t hate on williamsport ericl

    • EricL

      February 23, 2013 at 11:53 pm

      There’s nothing wrong with Williamsport. All I was saying is that you never see the Phillies (or most teams, really) trade a player in low-A ball for a major league ready 27-year old pitcher with the ability to miss bats.

  11. Lefty

    February 24, 2013 at 8:29 am

    As I understand it, Schwimer was some sort of a malcontent. They got rid of the malcontent through legal baseball means. They probably didn’t care if they got a BAG OF PEANUTS back for him, but they got a college educated 22 year old that hits for power. If you know ahead of time that you’re going to get a player that may only have one tool, IMO- that’s the one to get.

    This might be just the kind of thing Papelbon was referring to last season, especially when he was so close to it with a bullpen guy.

    So, (and we don’t really know the inner workings) it looks to me like they possibly fixed two problems and checked them off the list in one fell swoop. That should be good right? So why this is such a bad move? Do you all think they should get a superstar back for a malcontent middlin relief pitcher with very little potential to be anything else? I can envision a camera shot of Ruben up in his box cracking the peanuts, now I guess he’ll have to pay for them.

    • George

      February 24, 2013 at 8:46 am

      Malcontent or not, he was a usable talent; probably more so than some of the guys they’re looking at right now. In considering Charles, a college education means absolutely nothing if you look at many, many HOF players, and power means almost nothing if you only get the bat on the ball once in a blue moon. Just the fact that Schwimer is a usable talent should mean if you hold out a little bit, you’ll probably do better than what they got for him. The Phils were under absolutely no pressure to trade Schwimer right now.

      I’m willing to give Charles a chance; but risk is still risk, and this seems like drawing three cards in an effort to fill an inside straight.

      • Lefty

        February 24, 2013 at 9:32 am

        I guess our opinion of “useable talent” differs. If he was indeed a serious problem for management, (and I only know what I read in the funny papers) then that alone makes him useless.

        As far as talent, that’s debatable, but more importantly what’s the “pain in the ass” vs. talent quotient? Looks like they’ve decided not having him near the other players was more important than waiting it out.

        They still have a very talented bunch competing for a BP job. Papelbon, Adams, Aumont, Stutes, De Fratus, Bastardo, Horst, Diekman- et. al. they’re all either better or on the same level than the guy they let go. It’s no big loss, and maybe (again, we’ll never know) maybe a net gain just by not having him around.

    • hk

      February 24, 2013 at 9:15 am


      Define malcontent in this case. From what I’ve read, it seems that all Schwimer did was stand up for himself by claiming he was injured when they tried to send him down. If he was in fact legitimately injured, why is he in the wrong here?

      • Lefty

        February 24, 2013 at 9:46 am

        hk, Malcontent in this case- Unhappy player tweeting his displeasure.

        How about if he wasn’t in fact legitimately injured?

        My guess is we will never know. But it doesn’t matter what we know, they felt his burden was enough to go the “bag of peanuts” route. My point is, assuming they are right, maybe it was the best they could do, and maybe with the writing on the wall due to the current crop of BP players in camp, they felt they had to move him quickly before he tweeted again making it more of a publicity problem. The majority reaction here surprises me I must admit. You’d think we just gave up the next Mariano. Looking at his small sample stats, there’s just nothing to get excited about.

        So my question to you and everyone else is this- Why do you care so much about losing this guy? So what if he didn’t bring back much? He wasn’t much.

      • hk

        February 24, 2013 at 10:22 am

        11.8 K/9 vs. 3.0 BB/9 in MiLB and 9.6 K/9 in MLB is something to get excited about for a minimum salary player. If he can control the BB’s in MLB, he could be a valuable, cheap piece of a bullpen.

      • Lefty

        February 24, 2013 at 10:43 am

        Okay, I agree those are good numbers, not that MiLB always translates, but they are much more impressive than the major league performance so far.

        I guess the fact that they designated him to AAA and he didn’t show up for six days was just unacceptable to the Philies. It would be unacceptable to me as well if I was his boss, I don’t care how good he may have been.

        Again, if his injury was legit, then follow orders, report to where you are assigned, see a doctor, and THEN make your case.

        I rarely side with this F.O., I do this time.

      • hk

        February 24, 2013 at 11:16 am

        Agreed. In the small sample size of 48 2/3 IP in MLB, Schwimer walked too many (4 per 9) and had a high ERA. I guess Alex Anthropolous is more willing than RAJ to find out if Schwimer’s control (and tweeting) can be tamed.

      • Chuck A.

        February 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm

        Let’s see how that control can be tamed in the AL . I have a feeling that he’s gonna get knocked around pretty good and end up really being nothing more than a AAAA pitcher for the majority of his career.

  12. George

    February 24, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Despite the obvious problems between Schwimer and management, this appears to be a stupid trade. “Roster problems” is just Amaro rationalizing a pathetic move.

  13. Chuck A.

    February 24, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Watch Art Charles turn into the next Ryan Howard at the age of 25-26. ….

  14. bizzy

    February 24, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Even without Schwimmer, there’s a wealth of talent competing for the last four sports in the bullpen. DeFratus, Aumont, Horst, and (probably) Diekman should be on the team, and yet even so that leaves out Valdes, who pitched well last year, and Stutes, who if healthy is a valuable commodity. Diekman has to show he can throw strikes, as a 6.6BB/9 will not cut it in any role. I don’t see Horst as a slam-dunk to continue to develop, so it would be great to see Diekman improve his control and give us depth for the second-lefty bullpen arm.

    There’s reasons for optimism with this pen. Schwimmer wasn’t destined for a late-inning slot here, nor elsewhere on a winning team.

  15. Manny

    February 24, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Dumb move. Schwimmer clearly wasn’t among our most valuable pieces, but he definitely had SOME value. And we gave it away. Silly, silly, silly.

  16. Bart Shart

    February 24, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Sounds like many of us are just itching for the season to start. So much time talking about Charles and Schwimmer means something, I guess. PLAY BALL!!!

    • George

      February 24, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      Doesn’t mean a darned thing, if you ask me. fans love to give Amaro flack no matter what time of year. Even small moves generate loads of comments; adding Betancourt, for example. And he didn’t even cost a ML ready arm, like Charles did.

      Personally, I’m willing to give this move a chance, as I do all the front office’s moves. But even if Schwimer is a risk, or only a so-so talent, he’s still most likely far less of a risk and more of a talent than a player who can’t seem to get beyond the lowest of the minor leagues. Even clubhouse cancers generally bring back someone with more upside. No one has ever said Schwimer was a cancer, they’ve just indicated he’s had some problems understanding what is expected of him in terms of behavior. That could probably have been learned had management had a lttle bit of patience.

      • William Rennick

        February 24, 2013 at 11:47 pm

        Patience and RAJ rarely get used in the same sentence.

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