The Phillies found more depth and versatility for their outfield yesterday, signing outfielder So Taguchi to a one-year contract.
The deal is worth a guaranteed $1.05 million and includes a club option for 2009 and performance bonuses.
Taguchi hit .290 with three home runs and 30 RBIs last season for the St. Louis Cardinals. He also hit .406 as a pinch-hitter. In his six-year career with the Cardinals, he hit .283 overall and .337 with runners in scoring position.
Taguchi has played all three outfield positions and presumably would be Shane Victorino's replacement in center field should Victorino miss any significant period of time. Before Taguchi came aboard, it had been assumed Jayson Werth would play in center should Victorino need a rest.
Taguchi's arrival means the Phillies' outfield is set for opening day, assuming everybody stays healthy: Pat Burrell, Geoff Jenkins, Victorino, Werth and Taguchi. It also completes a five-man bench, should the Phillies open the season with 12 pitchers: Werth, Taguchi, catcher Chris Coste, utility infielder Eric Bruntlett and Greg Dobbs or Wes Helms, depending on who is playing third base.