At Least It's Not An Aging Reliever...

The fact that Marlon Byrd was traded shouldn't come as a great surprise. He was shopped all winter long, had lost his starting job and was definitely a player looking for a change of scenery to revive his career. Washington fans are likely saying the same thing about the player that the Phillies have coming their way in the deal that sent Byrd to Washington.

Sometimes, you just have to wonder what Ed Wade is thinking.

"After Thursday, I had to make a deal. I had to do something," said Wade with his tongue firmly in cheek, referring to published reports that appeared on Thursday stating that he wouldn't make it through June in his current job.

Perhaps, his tongue shouldn't have been lodged in his cheek. Perhaps, there's more to his off-handed comment than just a wry look at his job status.

Center field was not a position that the Phillies had to fill. The tandem of Kenny Lofton and Jason Michaels have combined to hit .308 for the Phillies. Granted, Lofton has battled hamstring problems all season (and likely will continue to battle them for the rest of the season), but there certainly are more pressing concerns than center field. And if filling center field was necessary, is Endy Chavez the right choice?

Chavez is a weaker version of Marlon Byrd. Weaker in that he has never truly had a breakout type of season, aside from hitting .296 in a 36 game audition in 2002. At that point, he was going to be Montreal's center fielder of the future, but came back to hit just .251 the following season and has bounced between the majors and AAA since. Byrd at least put up a .303 average in 135 games in 2003. Plus, Byrd appeared to have righted his mechanics and his mental approach to the game after struggling through 2004. There is no reason to believe that he won't rebound to be a good major league center fielder.

The Phillies like what Chavez brings; speed, good defensive skills and a left-handed bat. Nobody is putting him in the immediate center field job, although he did start there Sunday and contribute a key triple in the Phillies 4-3 win over Cincinnati. Chavez has been termed the center fielder of the future for the Phillies, just as he was for Montreal. So, what of Michael Bourn and Chris Roberson among other potential outfield prospects that the Phillies are bringing along?

Bourn and Roberson are both playing well at AA Reading and either one would admittedly be at least a couple seasons away from taking over in Philadelphia. Odds are that makes Chavez more of a "center fielder of the future until our next center fielder of the future gets here" player.

Marlon Byrd for Endy Chavez; Once again, Ed Wade makes a bad move. He picks up a couple points for trying to do something - although it was Washington GM Jim Bowden who initiated the deal - but this wasn't the area for him to concentrate on. Endy Chavez could be a decent player, but if he is in fact the center fielder of the future for the Phillies, then Bourn and Roberson will either have turned into Jeff Stone or will have been dealt elsewhere by Wade.

Endy Chavez' Career Stats

Year / Team HR RBI AVG G AB R H 2B 3B SB BB KO OBP
2001 Kansas City 0 5 .208 29 77 4 16 2 0 0 3 8 .238
2002 Montreal 1 9 .296 36 125 20 37 8 5 3 5 16 .321
2003 Montreal 5 47 .251 141 483 66 121 25 5 18 31 59 .294
2004 Montreal 5 34 .277 132 502 65 139 20 6 32 30 40 .318
2005 Washington 0 1 .222 7 9 2 2 1 0 0 3 1 .417
Career 11 96 .274 345 1146 157 315 56 16 53 72 124 .316

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