Schwimer Traded to Toronto

Michael SchwimerThere is more to the Michael Schwimer trade than just a glut of relief pitchers in Phillies camp.

The Phillies announced today they traded Schwimer to the Blue Jays for Minor League first baseman Art Charles. Ruben Amaro Jr. said they shipped Schwimer to Toronto because they had depth in the bullpen, they needed to anticipate future roster moves and they needed power at the Minor League level. But Schwimer had fallen out of favor with the organization after he disputed the Phillies’ decision to send him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley in August, claiming he was injured, although there also had been other issues.

It might be more accurate to call this trade addition by subtraction.

“He’s a great kid,” said Amaro, when asked if last season’s dispute sparked the trade. “There’s nothing wrong with Schwim.”

Schwimer said he agreed, but added one caveat.

“The Phillies want to win period so they’re not going to let any petty differences affect them wanting to win,” he said. “So in my opinion I think that had absolutely zero effect.”

Major League Baseball rules prevent a team from sending a player to the Minor Leagues while injured. The Phillies optioned Schwimer to Lehigh Valley on Aug. 23. He said he was hurt and should have been placed on the disabled list, but the Phillies disagreed. Schwimer didn’t report to the team immediately as he sought a second opinion. And while no formal grievance has been filed, Schwimer said, “As far as I’m concerned it’s an open issue. Nothing has been filed. Nothing has been done. But it’s still definitely an open issue.”

“There’s a lot of things I can’t get into with that,” he added. “What I will say was there was definitely a disconnect in communication from what I … that’s all I’m going to say. It was nothing personal against them, it was nothing personal against me. As a young player you really don’t know how to handle certain things and in their opinion I handled things the wrong way and in my opinion they handled things … it was just a communication difference.”

Schwimer also got into trouble earlier in the season when he tweeted roster moves before they became official. And while there was a personality conflict at times, Schwimer was highly complementary to the organization Saturday.

“This is a business,” Schwimer said. “Everybody has to do what they think will make the team better. I respect their decision completely. I absolutely loved my time with the Phillies. They drafted me in 2008, called me up to the big leagues and …. if I wasn’t a Phillie I would never have met my wife, so there’s a lot of life things and a lot of both on and off the field things that would never have happened if I wasn’t a Philadelphia Phillie. I loved the teammates and the team. I hope we meet in the World Series. It’s been a great time and a great ride.”

Even with a plethora of relievers in camp it is unusual to trade a pitcher like Schwimer, who has plenty of potential. He had a 7.56 ERA through nine appearances last season, but a 3.46 ERA in his final 26 appearances. He also has options remaining, which makes him even more valuable.

“It’s an arm that should pitch in the big leagues,” pitching coach Rich Dubee said. “He’s got plenty of talent to pitch in the big leagues. He’s got to get some presence. He’s got to get some composure on the mound. He’s got to understand who he is and what he is as a pitcher. But he’s got to stick to doing things the right way instead of trying to be too macho at times and coming out of his delivery.”

Asked if he felt like he needed to make this trade now, Amaro said, “No, we didn’t have to. We could have waited, but we felt like it was the right thing to do right now for us.”

Charles, 22, hit .236 with 15 doubles, four triples, 13 home runs, 34 RBIs and .909 OPS combined with rookie-level Bluefield and Class A Vancouver.

“Charles is a guy that has got big pop,” Amaro said. “Whether he is going to be a Major League hitter at some point, we don’t know. But we know he has a lot of power and is a pretty decent athlete. He’s a big kid and we’ll see. A lot of home runs, a lot of strikeouts, a lot of walks. We’ll see. We’re taking a chance on a guy.”

6 Comments

I love all the BS coming from both sides. This move was a personality difference that Amaro couldnt live with. Hope the Schwimmer goes on to have a great career.

very strange to trade an arm that is big league ready for a A player who can’t hit aove .240 and plays a posistion we don’t have an opeing at for a long time. Isn’t this why Singleton was movable? He was blocked at 1sxt just like this new guy will be?

Except Howard now has three years and a buyout to go now or two less than when Singleton was with the Phillies. Singleton, while being a year younger than Charles, is two, if not now three years ahead of Charles in development. If Charles does develop, he could move to the Phillies as Howard is leaving at either his age 25 or age 26 season. Of course this is all conjecture. But it looks to me the Phillies could have bought two more years to decide and the two situations are not the same. And Ruf might at least be a place holder if needed if he doesn’t pan out in left field in left field.

So Schwimer is some kind of crybaby because he questioned the Phillies sending him down and cutting his pay by at least 4/5. Given what goes on moving players on and off the DL, I go with Schwimer on this one and have to believe Ruin had his eye on the money.

very sad to see My Phillies taking a big lose In Sarasota on Sunday. We realize it is a split team but I would like to see them win Once in the years I moved down here. Better odds in Clearwater. Will go there next time.

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