In the four years that he ran baseball operations for the Boston Red Sox, Dave Dombrowski traded away 38 players, including 31 who either were in the minors or rookies in the big leagues.
This time, he actually acquired one.
In his third trade since taking over last month as the Phillies’ president of baseball ops, Dombrowski acquired 26-year-old infielder C.J. Chatham from Boston for a player to be named, the teams announced Monday. Chatham, a second-round pick in Dombrowski’s first Red Sox draft in 2016, spent last season at the team’s alternate site but never got called up despite Boston’s need for a second baseman.
To free up a spot on the 40-man roster, the Phillies designated reliever Victor Arano for assignment. Arano, 25, had a 2.65 ERA in 73 relief appearances from 2017-19 but didn’t regain his stuff after shoulder issues two seasons ago.
Chatham, who dropped out of Baseball America’s prospect rankings this year and would have been squeezed off the Red Sox’s 40-man roster, is a .298 hitter with 57 doubles, 14 home runs, and a .739 OPS in 1,106 career minor-league plate appearances. He finished out the 2019 season in triple A, batting .302 in 20 games.
The Phillies view Chatham as a utility infielder but were attracted because he’s primarily a shortstop. With a solid spring training, he could compete with Rule 5 addition Kyle Holder for a spot on the bench.
“He’s a good player,” Dombrowski said during a conference call to introduce free-agent reliever Archie Bradley, who last week agreed to a one-year, $6 million contract. “He’s on the verge of playing at the big-league level. He’s near the big leagues. If he’s not, he’s in triple A depending on how our club falls into place. Anyone who is a utility infielder who can play shortstop and play it well is a plus for you.”
The Phillies made another 40-man roster move, designating outfielder Kyle Garlick for assignment to create a spot for Bradley. Garlick, 28, went 3-for-22 (.136) with three RBIs for the Phillies last season after being acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers for minor-league reliever Tyler Gilbert.