Multiple sources are reporting that the Mariners have traded Mike Sweeney to the Phillies for cash considerations and a player to be named later.
Um, OK. Sweeney is hitting .263/.327/.475 this year. Although the present tense is a bit misleading, in that he hasn’t played since June 25th. He’s only played in 30 games total, 21 of which were as a DH, six as a pinch hitter and only three games at first base. His most intense action this year, however, has come challenging his teammates to fights and browbeating and intimidating reporters who say negative things about his team.
With no real openings for “designated hardass” on this team, my guess is that the Phillies will platoon Sweeney at first base with Ross Gload. The more he plays, the better I like the Braves chances.
UPDATE: Holy moley! Charlie Manuel just said that the starting job is Sweeney’s! Mike Sweeney hasn’t been a regular first baseman for a good five years, so this should be . . . interesting.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.