First baseman Mike Sweeney was acquired by the Phillies from the Seattle Mariners for a player to be named later or cash considerations, Senior Vice President & General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced today.
Sweeney, 37, was batting .263 with six home runs and 18 RBI in 30 games for the Mariners this season, including three starts at first base. With runners in scoring position, he was hitting .313 (10-32). Sweeney has had two stints on the disabled list this season with back inflammation/spasms. Most recently, he was on a rehabilitation assignment with triple-A Tacoma, where, in 12 games, he hit .366 (15-41) with two home runs and nine RBI.
A five-time American League All-Star, Sweeney has hit at least 20 home runs in six seasons, including 29 in back-to-back seasons (2000-01). He has made 570 career starts at first base. With runners in scoring in position, he has batted .328 in his career.
Charlie Manuel has already said Sweeney will see the bulk of the playing time at first base until Ryan Howard is ready to return, but I don’t see how he’s an upgrade over Ross Gload/Cody Ransom/John Mayberry at that position. Either one of those guys can handle a bat the same way Sweeney does at this point in his career and at 37, you’d think he might be slowing down defensively. Either way, he’ll provide a solid veteran bench bat in the mold of a Matt Stairs or Jeff Conine.