Phillies sign infielders to compete for spots

Minnesota Twins at Baltimore Orioles April 7, 2013

Pedro Florimon photo by Keith Allison

Good morning! Here’s your news for Tuesday:

MINOR MOVES: We have a few pieces fired up for this week about what kinds of fringe players the Phillies may want to target for spring training invitations. But we may be too late; the Phils signed two more players Monday (with 2016 numbers):

  • IF Pedro Florimon – 30 – .255/.327/.372, 21 XBH with PIT (AAA) (340 PA)
  • IF Hector Gomez – 28 – .283/.326/.493, 52 XBH with  SKK (Korea) (484 PA)

Both Florimon and Gomez can play second base and shortstop; Gomez can also take third base.

Clearly the Phils are buying low to fill the utility infield spot for 2017, thinking either of these guys or Jesmuel Valentin will work just fine until J.P. Crawford is in the majors and situations change.

The interesting thing here is Gomez, who has hit one home run in 162 career major league plate appearances (Milwaukee and Colorado), but socked 21 in Korea last year. It’s likely Gomez won’t reproduce that kind of power in the majors, but there’s power in that profile (he hit 17 homers for triple-A Nashville in 2014).

From here, I’d imagine Matt Klentak grabs a fringe catcher or two to compete with Andrew Knapp for the major league backup spot. I feel a bigger outfield bat is still possible, as I’d be a little surprised if the Phils roll the dice with a battle between Daniel Nava, Tyler Goeddel, Aaron Altherr and Nick Williams for the third outfield spot out of spring training.

NAMED NOW: Meanwhile the Phils picked up their player-to-be-named later in the Jimmy Cordero-to-Washington trade. That player is pitcher Mario Sanchez.

Sanchez, 22, went 5-0 with a 3.46 ERA, 62 strikeouts and 22 walks last season in high-A Potomac. He’ll either start 2017 in the Clearwater or Reading bullpen.

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