We can criticize and second-guess a majority of the moves that Ruben Amaro has made during his tenure. One move that people were quick to second-guess (myself included), was Amaro tenuring John Mayberry a contract for 2014.
After it became apparent that Mayberry had no business getting extended playing time, after struggling in said situations in 2012 and 2013, Mayberry has thrived in his role a pinch-hitting in 2014. Not only has he batted over .300 off the bench while providing some valuable pop, but his ability to play all three outfield positions and first-base, have given the veteran and injury-riddled Phillies some flexibility.
According to CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury, Mayberry’s flexibility, and the fact that he has caught fire over the last month, has made him a target of a few American League teams.
Mayberry’s time in the lineup the last two days may have been an unexpected showcase for the reserve outfielder. The Red Sox are on the lookout for outfield depth and have had scouts at several recent Phillies games, including Tuesday night’s. The Yankees are also a team to watch on Mayberry, a plugged-in major-league source said. They had a scout in Atlanta on Wednesday.
The Red Sox, who are still trying to climb out of the whole they created with a late-June and early-July 10 game losing streak, have won three and a row, and are sitting at 34-38. While that record isn’t ideal, the Red Sox are the defending World Series champions, and could conceivably get hot enough to overcome a seven-game deficit in the AL East.
The Yankees are only three and a half games out of the AL East, and in the thick of the Wild-Card race, so the Mayberry addition could make sense. He could spell the injury-riddled Mark Teixera at first-base, and be an option for the Yankees as a fourth outfielder or backup DH.
Last week, I broke down which Phillies that I actually anticipated getting traded, and I highlighted Mayberry’s versatility as a reason that he would get moved.
Value Breakdown: For all the disgust that many fans (myself included) had when the Phillies tendered Mayberry a deal in the off-season, he’s going to have interest around the end of July. Mayberry not only is batting over .300 as a pinch-hitter with pop, but the fact that he can play all-three outfield positions and first-base, could make him a very useful bench piece to a contending team. Chances are, he won’t bring much of a return.
Verdict: Gets traded
According to Salisbury, the Phillies might actually anticipate getting some sort of a return for Mayberry. Other than that, my expectations seem to be pretty accurate. Now it’s up for the Phillies not to fall into the trap of thinking that a 32-38 team could seriously compete for a playoff spot, and capitalize on whatever trade-value that Mayberry has.