Trade Analysis: David Dellucci

If you check out internet message boards, the deal to bring David Dellucci to Philadelphia isn't gaining overwhelming support. While it may be unpopular, it does make some sense where the Phillies 2006 roster is concerned.

Some fans are saying that the Phillies gave up too much to get David Dellucci. Others are saying that Chris Coste or Chris Roberson could have done just as much on the roster.

The Phillies dealt from some degree of strength. If they need starting pitching help, there is Ryan Franklin in the bullpen and the likes of Eude Brito and Daniel Haigwood at AAA. Plus, in a matter of months, Cole Hamels could be ready for his major league debut. Giving up Robinson Tejeda isn't too major for the Phillies, although it's never easy to give up pitching.

Jake Blalock - the number eight prospect on our list of Top 50 Phillies prospects - has a good future ahead of him, but the truth is that he has never developed the power numbers that the Phillies were looking for. He's also an outfielder, another position of strength for the Phillies.

Chris Coste and Chris Roberson are unknown quantities. Roberson is better served by having another season in the minors than he would have been coming off the Phillies' bench. That's not an easy role and for a player who has never been above AA, it's especially difficult. Coste is an unknown quantity. He had a simply awesome spring and deserves a shot to play in the majors, but again, he's somewhat unknown and nobody knows for sure how he would have produced coming off the Phillies bench. He was the feel-good story of the spring and as stated earlier, should get a major league shot, but the Phillies needed pure outfield help and Dellucci provides that.

As for David Dellucci, don't underestimate the player that the Phillies just picked up. He's a good player who can accept pretty much any role that he's put into. Should anything happen to either Pat Burrell or Bobby Abreu, Dellucci is good enough that he could step in to play every day in either corner outfield spot and has played some center field in his career. Dellucci hit career highs in homeruns (29) and RBI (65) last season with the Rangers. He will provide a needed left-handed bat off the bench and give the Phillies a legitimate long-ball threat in key spots.

The Phillies won't have to pay much for Dellucci this season, since he's only owed $950,000 and the Phillies got an undisclosed amount of cash from the Rangers as part of the deal. This is the final year of his contract and he can become a free agent after this season, meaning that a year from now, the Phillies may have lost Tejeda and Blalock and have nothing to show for it, unless Dellucci would become a big part of a Phillies team that wins a World Series.

The bottom line: This is neither a great deal or a bad deal. It's understandable and makes the Phillies better in the short run. If Tejeda or Blalock become stud major leaguers, then with hindsight, the deal won't look so great. Sometimes, the righty / lefty splits can be an over analyzed stat, but it certainly doesn't hurt the Phillies to have a legitimate left-handed power threat to bring off the bench. As with most deals, you have to wait to see the real impact, since we don't know what Tejeda or Blalock could do down the road.

David Dellucci Career Stats

73 289 .259 776 2030 319 526 93 26 35 248 517 .345

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