The Philadelphia Phillies have swung a deal to get another power bat, acquiring first baseman Justin Bour in a trade with the Miami Marlins.
The deal was first reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic and confirmed by a number of national MLB scribes. In return, the Marlins are getting McKenzie Mills, a left-handed minor-league pitcher.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 10, 2018
Lefty McKenzie Mills goes to Miami in Bour deal, Phillies announce
— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) August 10, 2018
Bour, 30, has hit 19 homers this season after hitting 25 with 83 RBIs last year in Miami. He joins something of a log-jam at first base in Philly, but should at least be a solid left-handed bat off the bench as the Phillies compete for a postseason spot in the tight NL East.
Where does Bour fit with the Phillies?
Turns out the Phillies have a few big dudes who hit homers and play first base — Carlos Santana and Rhys Hoskins. Hoskins also plays the outfield, so no sweat there. But Santana and Bour are very similar players. Compare their numbers this season:
Bour: .227/.347/.412, 19 homers and 54 RBIs
Santana: .219/.356/.402, 17 homers and 64 RBIs
The main difference between the two: Santana is a switch-hitter and Bour is a lefty. Santana hits for more power from the left side but for better average from the right side, so this doesn’t even signal a traditional platoon situation.
If Bour is a backup bat, he might be on board as a Braves killer, since the Phillies are tangling with Atlanta in the NL East standings. He’s hit 11 homers with 35 RBIs against the Braves the past three seasons and the Phillies play the Braves seven times in the final two weeks of the season.
What are Justin Bour’s long-term prospects with the Phillies?
Bour is 30 and won’t be a free agent until 2021, so this isn’t just a short-term rental — although it’s not necessarily a long-term play either.
Santana is signed through 2020 on a $60 million deal, so he’s probably not going anywhere. But Bour is controllable and relatively inexpensive. He’s making $3.4 million this season and is arbitration eligible next year.
So it seems like the Bour’s future with the Phillies is a lot like his present — he’s an option should they need him. If not, he could be on the move again after this season.
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