Phillies Get a Right-Handed Hitting Outfielder as Cristian Pache Heads East
That didn’t take long.
Just one day after the Athletics chose not to keep Cristian Pache on its active roster to start 2023, the former top prospect has a new home. The Philadelphia Phillies have acquired the 24-year-old Pache for a Minor League reliever, giving the young outfielder the chance to make an impact on a team that came just two wins shy of winning the 2022 World Series.
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A Look at Pache
On March 28, we documented that Cristian Pache, a former top prospect with the Braves and Athletics, did not make the Oakland Opening Day roster as the team opted to carry Conner Capel and Brent Rooker. With no options left, the A’s needed to either find a trade partner for the 24-year-old or attempt to put him on waivers. Oakland chose the latter, as the Athletics sent him back to the NL East.
A glove-first center field, Pache possesses very good speed and ability in the outfield. However, he’s yet to demonstrate that he can hit at the Major League level. The 24-year-old hit just .166 in the Majors last year, the worst batting average among players that accrued 200 plate appearances during his time up with Oakland in 2022. Pache did a bit better in Las Vegas (AAA) after he was demoted in the summer, but still posted his worst single-season batting average (.248) and on-base percentage (.298) of his MiLB career.
Pache did hit well this spring, but that wasn’t enough for the young outfielder to stick with a rebuilding A’s club. Now, he’ll join a Phillies club in a very different position.
In return, the A’s acquired 23-year-old RHP Billy Sullivan. A Delaware native, Sullivan is a reliever that struck out 77 over 51 innings for Reading (AA) in 2022. Sullivan signed with the Phillies after not being selected in the shortened 2020 MLB Draft.
A Look at the Phillies Outfield
A couple of weeks, we wrote about Dave Dombrowski’s comments from earlier this spring regarding acquiring an outfielder. Dombrowski stated that the team was considering adding a right-handed hitting outfielder, and that’s exactly what Philadelphia got with Pache.
With Pache in tow, the Phillies roster now includes him, Jake Cave, Kyle Schwarber, Brandon Marsh, and Nick Castellanos as outfield options. Bryce Harper will miss the start of the regular season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. Edmundo Sosa and Dalton Guthrie also have limited outfield experience. Given the acquisition of the former Braves prospect, a corresponding move would need to be made in order to get Pache on the Phillies group of 26.
Just from looking at the Phillies roster, Pache figures to be a platoon option with left-handed hitting Brandon Marsh. As we recapped earlier in the month, Marsh has proven to be effective at the plate against righties, but not so much against left-handers. The Phillies did get Edmundo Sosa time in center field this spring, but he may be needed in the infield should Philadelphia want to platoon Darick Hall.