The Brewers just keep on dealing, but this time , not selling. The Brewers have traded single-A relief pitcher Wilfrido Laureano, a 6-foot-6, 170-pound righthander, for Phillies 3b David Bell, who has a notoriously bad back and is in the final year of his contract.
From the Philly Inquirer:
Laureano, 22, was 3-2 with a save and a 3.96 earned run average in 29 relief appearances for West Virginia in the South Atlantic League. In 632/3 innings, he struck out 62, walked 36 and allowed 54 hits. Opponents were hitting .218 against him.
The 33-year-old Bell was in the final year of a four-year, $17 million contract with the Phillies. He will be eligible for free agency after the season.
Bell, who has been on a recent hot streak, has hit .278 with six home runs and 34 RBIs in 91 games this year.
Abraham Nunez, hitting just .157 with one homer and five RBIs in 115 at-bats, will be the Phillies’ everyday third baseman.
“We’re going to give him an opportunity to play,” general manager Pat Gillick said after announcing the trade following the Phils’ 4-1 loss to Florida. “Our feeling was that we weren’t going to re-sign David. Nunez really hasn’t had the opportunity to play on a regular basis.
From the standpoint of a Phillies fan, this trade is good news. Bell never lived up to expectations in Philly, largely due to his chronically bad back. And even more important, this signals that the Phillies plan to be “sellers” at the trade deadline and that the team hasn’t deluded itself that it could put together one final playoff push, like the Dodgers seem to be doing.
If you’re a Brewers fan, this trade makes NO SENSE. Unless I’m missing something. And that’s possible. But why, if you’re the Brewers, do you trade Carlos Lee one day, signaling that you’ve given up on the season at a time when your team has lost three games in a row and is seven games back in the wild card chase, and then turn and trade a pitching prospect for an over the hill 3b in the last year of his contract?