The Phillies put Matt Smith on waivers to make room for So Taguchi on the 40-man roster. Smith was due to miss much of ’08 after Tommy John surgery, but the choice is still surprising to me. TJ Bohn is on the 40-man roster for one thing, but that was already kind of a surprise in its own special way. They just added Lincoln Holdzkom in the Rule 5 draft and the chances that they aren’t going to have to offer him back to the Red Sox seem very small. Travis Blackley’s chances look a little better, but not good.
Don’t get that one, unless the Phillies just think that Smith is done. He was miserable in ’07, but was on the mound in big spots of big games at the end of 2006 for the Phils. He made 12 September appearances for the Phils in ’06 in the thick of a push for the Wild Card and wasn’t charged with a run in 11 of them. He struck out 11 in 6 2/3 innings in those appearances while throwing to a 2.70 and an 0.90 ratio. The Phils still have a lefty problem in the pen — Romero helps a lot but they need another guy. Fabio Castro is going to be real good someday, I’m not as sure about Zagurski, Youman, Blackley or Happ.
Recapping the Bobby Abreu trade, the Phillies traded Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle to the Yankees for shortstop CJ Henry, Smith, catcher Jesus Sanchez and pitcher Carlos Monasterios. They’ve already released Henry (who resigned with the Yankees). If Sanchez or Monasterios are ever going to help the Phils it’s not going to be for a while.
Josh Towers signed a one-year deal with the Rockies for $400,000.