Every once in a while, a team becomes so deep at a particular position that they simply run out of room for a talented player. Last year, the Phillies felt they had enough depth to let Brandon Moss pursue other opportunities and the A’s had the ability to scoop him up and let him simmer in Triple-A until an opening arose. Once called up, Moss hit 21 HR with a triple-slash line of .291/.358/.596, providing more value than any first baseman or outfielder the Phillies had on the roster last season.
This year, the Texas Rangers have seemingly given up on Julio Borbon, a key contributor to their 2010 run to the World Series and they designated him for assignment yesterday. In 746 MLB PA with the Rangers, Borbon has hit .283/.324/.358 with 7 HR and 40 SBs. Just 27 years old, Borbon is a talented outfielder who has plus skills in most tools and would be an upgrade over Ezequiel Carrera and Laynce Nix as a left-handed half of a right field platoon. Borbon has hit .293/.333/.370 v. righties where as Carrera has hit just .254/.297/.367 and Nix .253/.297/.447.
Borbon’s designation comes as a relative surprise as all four outfielders kept on the Rangers’ roster not named Borbon have lower career MLB batting averages and Borbon has comparable OBP to the center fielders who are replacing him (Craig Gentry and Leonys Martin). Borbon fielded center field well, meaning a transition to right could improve his value and he was a plus-base runner in his time in Texas.
Jon Heyman thinks that the Mets and Astros are good fits for Borbon, but in reality, Borbon, at just 27, is a player who still has a lot of potential who could help a lot of teams. His 2012 was spent proving he could still play in Triple-A after a 2011 ankle injury. He would be a definite upgrade for the Phillies and would be worth a flier starting in right field against righties at the very least.