Shortly before a scheduled press conference featuring new Phillies reliever Archie Bradley, the team announced that they have acquired infielder C.J. Chatham from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for a player to be named later.
Chatham, 26, was drafted by Dombrowski in the second round of the 2016 MLB Draft. He spent the 2020 season in Pawtucket, R.I. at the Red Sox alternate site. In his first season at Triple-A in 2019, the Florida native slashed .302/.330/.430 with two home runs and 10 RBIs in 86 at-bats and played primarily at shortstop. The Florida native holds a career slash line of .298/.337/.402 in four seasons in the minor leagues.
Chatham will have a spot on the Phillies’ 40-man roster, which puts him in a good position to win a spot on the bench if he performs well in spring training. To make room for Chatham on the roster, the Phillies designated right-handed pitcher Victor Arano for assignment.
Much of Dombrowski’s strategy this offseason has revolved around taking advantage of the depth or lack of roster spots other teams have and acquiring those players. The Rays, who perpetually have an excess of quality bullpen arms, traded left-handed reliever Jose Alverado to the Phillies. The Giants bullpen was too right-handed, so they shifted Sam Coonrod to Philadelphia and acquired a decent pitching prospect in Carson Ragsdale. The Red Sox needed to open a roster spot and offered Chatham to the Phillies for a player to be named later.
Dombrowski spoke about the acquisition on Monday.
“He’s a good player,” Dombrowski said. “He’s lead a couple of leagues in hitting. He can play shortstop and he can play second base. He’s a good defensive player and he’s got good bat to ball skills. He hasn’t hit with much power so far, but I’ve seen him hit the ball with some power. He has a little more pop than you think.”
With the trade, Chatham now finds himself among the top-ranked prospects in the Phillies system. MLB Pipeline puts him at No. 23, behind pitcher James McArthur and ahead of outfielder Yhoswar Garcia.
“He’s on the verge of playing at the big league level,” Dombrowski said. “He’s near the big leagues. If not, he’s at Triple-A depending on how our club falls into place. Anybody that’s a utility infielder that can play shortstop and play it well is a plus for you.”
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