For the majority of the 2018 season, one of the big issues for the Phillies has been their depth. They don’t have anyone that is a consistently good option off the bench and have had to rely on guys like Andrew Knapp, Aaron Altherr and Scott Kingery for the most part.
Prior to the trade deadline, the Phils acquired Asdrubal Cabrera to solidify an infield role with offensive upside and also got Wilson Ramos from Tampa Bay, someone who will also contribute offensively upon his return from the disabled list.
On Friday, the Phils made another move, this time to strengthen their bench. They sending a minor leaguer to the Marlins for slugging first baseman Justin Bour.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 10, 2018
Rosenthal mentions that the Phillies claimed Bour on trade waivers and were able to work out a deal with the Marlins for a prospect. In order to make room for Bour on the 40-man roster, Jake Thompson was designated for assignment.
Heading to Miami is pitching prospect McKenzie Mills. Acquired last season from the Nationals for Howie Kendrick, Mills has posted a 3.51 ERA through 20 games this season, 16 of which have been starts. He’s sporting a 2.78 ERA over his last 10 games and prior to being traded, the Phils promoted him to Double-A.
Meanwhile, Bour adds some much needed power to the Phillies bench. This season with the Marlins, the 30-year-old is slashing .227/.347/.412 with 19 home runs and 54 RBI. His average may not jump out at you, but his ability to notch a big hit in clutch situations is something the Phillies bench has lacked pretty much all season to this point. He is hitting .241 against righties this season while Carlos Santana is hitting just .209 against them.
Think of Bour playing a Matt Stairs-esque role through the remainder of the season and potentially into the playoffs. Bour joins a group of five other Phillies that already have 16+ home runs.
In addition to the offensive advantages Bour brings to the table, he’s also under team control through the 2020 season. The Marlins are reportedly sending the Phillies some cash in the trade as well to offset his salary for this season.
Since the Phillies already have Carlos Santana and Rhys Hoskins as first base options, Bour could turn into an interesting trade piece in the offseason as well. After this deal, the Phillies bench will consist of Bour, Roman Quinn, Andrew Knapp and Scott Kingery. J.P. Crawford is returning this weekend and Wilson Ramos’ return will also shift some of the bench pieces for the rest of 2018.