The Phillies traded 27 year old relief pitcher Michael Schwimer to the Toronto Blue Jays today for 22 year old Low A 1B prospect Art Charles. Schwimer, who spent a good portion of last year with the big club ran into problems with the organization towards the end of the year last year after a disputed injury to his arm left the tall righty out of action for the final six weeks of the season. Schwimer was 2-1 with a 4.46 ERA in 35 games and helped stabilize a very rocky Phillies bullpen in the middle of last season. His relationship, which had been described as rocky at times with the Phils organization became a bit more rocky when Schwimer refused to report to AAA Lehigh Valley last August after being sent down by the Phils. Schwimer cited arm problems and publicly stated he should have been placed on the DL, rather than sent down (which would have ensured his major league salary). He didnt pitch in another game for the organization after that.
Charles was drafted in 2010 by the Blue Jays in the 20th round of the draft out of Bakersfield College. The 6’6, 245 pound left handed hitter, batted .236 in just over 200 AB’s split between rookie ball and Low A. He does have some power, as he hit 13 HR’s last year, but was crippled by a strikeout rate that hovered around 30%.
The analysis of this trade is that it stinks. While I have never hid my admiration for Schwim ( I know him and like him quite a bit as a person), the Phillies traded something for what looks to be nothing. Schwimer did have options remaining this year, meaning he could have been sent down to the minors for another year. He was undoubtedly progressing as a pitcher, and while never likely be be a closer, he does continue to have the potential to perform in a middle relief role with competency and success.
Schwimer was a victim of “telling it the way it is” as opposed to telling it the way the organization would like it to be on several issues over the last couple of the years. Its tough to fault a guy for voicing his honest opinion. That being said, when the honest opinion is coming from a 27 year old middle reliever and that opinion differs from the organizations opinion, you are likely to find yourself in Buffalo for the next baseball season (Toronto’s AAA affiliate).
Good luck to a good guy.