It was a minor mention in the transaction column. Perhaps you saw it, perhaps you didn't. It read something like this:
Philadelphia Phillies: Claimed Greg Dobbs on waivers from the Seattle Mariners.
Only the most astute baseball fans - or fans of the Seattle Mariners - might know who Greg Dobbs is. Over the last three seasons, he's shuttled between Triple-A Tacoma and the Seattle Mariners, playing in an even 100 games for Seattle. Over that time, he's amassed a major league average of .257 and has 2 major league home runs in 222 at bats.
So, why were the Phillies interestes?
First, Pat Gillick is familiar with Dobbs. After going undrafted after his playing days with the University of Oklahoma were over, Gillick signed Dobbs as an amateur free agent. That was in May of 2001 when Gillick was the GM of the Mariners.
The deeper reason is that the Phillies are still looking for a left-handed bat to bring off the bench. They're also looking for somebody who can play in the outfield. Dobbs is a left-handed bat and has played a total of 30 innings in the Mariners' outfield and many more at the minor league level. He can also play at third and first, giving some versatility, should he win a job on the Phillies bench.
Since Dobbs is out of options, the Phillies will either have to keep him or try sending him through waivers and hope that he not only clears waivers, but accepts a minor league assignment. It's a bit of a risk, but not much of one for the Phillies.
Dobbs' arrival is very bad news for Chris Roberson and Michael Bourn, both of whom figured to fight for a utility outfield job with the club. It could be bad news for Chris Coste as well, although Coste would appear to be safe, especially since he can serve as a third catcher and can also play at first and third. The Phillies will also likely have Coste at least take some flyballs in the outfield this spring to see how he might fit in there.
Greg Dobbs' career stats
|Minor Lge Totals