The Phillies were looking for a veteran bat to add to their bench for the
final month of the season and found one they liked in Giants' outfielder Michael Tucker. With the Giants trying to take a look at young players, Tucker was
expendable and his exit creates room for Jason Ellison to return from AAA. The
arrival of Randy Winn in San Francisco also cut into Tucker's playing time and
he got just 41 at bats over the last month. The price was minor league pitcher
Kelvin Pichardo, who was 8-7 showed progress in his second season in the Gulf
Coast League, going 3-2, 4.17 in ten games (nine starts). Pichardo is just 19
and is a better than average prospect for down the road. To help ease the pain
of losing Pichardo, the Phillies will also receive $50,000 as part of the deal.
The 34 year old Tucker is a career .257 hitter who has played for the Royals,
Braves, Reds, Cubs and Giants. He hit a career high .283 in 138 games with
Atlanta in 1997 and was hitting .240 in 104 games with San Francisco this
season. "He's a veteran bat off the bench. He's a guy who can drive the
ball," said Phillies' assistant general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. "It's
nice to be able to have a guy who's a professional hitter, a guy who's been
around the league and understands that role. We think he's going to help
Giants' manager Felipe Alou hated to see Tucker leave his club. "Tucker,
what a gentleman he is in the clubhouse, airplane and everywhere he goes,"
said Alou. "It had nothing to do with anything or anybody in particular. It
was the club making a move."
Tucker will give the Phillies a little power off the bench and add some speed
as well. He can play all three outfield positions, but will be relied upon
primarily as a pinch-hitter.