Michael Schwimer Traded

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.

94 thoughts on “Michael Schwimer Traded

  1. We traded nothing for nothing that is 5 years younger. He might have been the nicest guy in the world but he was holding a spot for someone better. This can free the way for Aumont, stutes, defratus, and diekman. In that regards I like the trade to clear some space for the younger arms.

    1. I wouldn’t call the trade ‘nothing for nothing’. I prefer ‘next to nothing for next to nothing, that is 5 years younger’.

    2. LOL Walden, Schwimer was holding no spot from those guys, they all passed him as they ALL have more potential then he has.

  2. Schwimer was blocking no one (except in Amaro’s head). Another example of the Front Office’s puzzling disregard for strategic thinking (or, thinking at all).

  3. sounds like you have man love for Schwim and aren’t thinking logically. He is a AAAA reliever and has fallen hopelessly behind Aumont, Defratus and likely Stutes. If anything we gave up nothing for nothing.or got a young power hitter for nothing.

  4. Art Charles has a chance to be the next Matt Rizzotti…and the website needs controversial conversation pieces.

    1. Art Charles doesn’t fit the profile to receive the kind of maniacal support that Rizzotti received. My money is on Chris Serritella for that lightning rod.

  5. Here’s a Fangraphs blurb from last year:

    Art Charles, 1B: A hulking slugger, Charles was a two-way player (pitcher and hitter) in both high school and junior college. Some teams considered drafting him as a left-handed pitcher but the Jays were clearly intrigued by his left-handed power. He’s a guy you can definitely pitch to, though, as long as the hurler on the mound can command the ball down and away to him. I’m not a huge fan of his setup at the plate and feel he holds his hands too low and out in front but that might be by design to help him attack the outer half of the plate.

    Sounds to me to be exactly what we don’t want Cozens to develop into.

    1. Interesting that you should mention Cozens. Here’s what they each did their first year in the GCL:
      .255 / .341 / .441
      .244 / .331 / .431

  6. i dont like schwim.but he does have some big league experience, why trade him for nothing,amaro is starting to get me mad.

    1. This is no loss. The Phillies are going to have enough trouble getting innings in Lehigh Valley for Deikman, Stutes, Rosenberg, Friend, JC Ramirez, and Austin Hyatt. They may also have one of Aumont or De Fratus at Lehigh. Schwimer wasn’t going to make the big team.

  7. Don’t think the loss of Schwimer is much of a loss but I do think they could have found a better deal then what they got in return.

    1. What more do you think you should get, for a mediocre middle reliever? It’s either this, or you designate him for assignment, to get him off the 40 man.

      1. For a borderline major league middle reliever I would expect you would be able to get a player who at least projects to get beyond AA-ball. If the Phillies had drafted Charles, everyone would be declaring him a bust by now.

        1. I doubt that we would be declaring him a bust. Charles was draftef in 2010. We would look at him on the same level as Dugan or Pointer. The site is much harder on the ‘traded for’ prospects. If anything, there would be multiple posts bashing the front office for not moving him faster, when he has already shown power and patience.

          On your other point: ‘Borderline major league’ reliever. I still don’t understand how anyone thinks another major league team would give you something of value, for a middle reliever that has shown himself to be a ‘Less than replacement level’ player. Those types of players get DFA’d, and picked up for free (see Herndon). The Phillies are lucky to have received anything for Schwimer.

          1. On the other hand, I wish Schwimer had enough value, for Arizona to have accepted him as compensation for Ender Inciarte.
            Maybe Arizona can take BJ Rosenberg or Austin Hyatt off the Phillies hands for Ender.

      1. No, I don’t hate Schwimer and he doesn’t suck but he was part of a glut at a position the Phillies are overloaded at which is why its no great loss. Trading away assets for no return doesn’t make sense regardless of your personal opinions of the guy.

  8. They weren’t going to get anything for Schwimer. He’ll be a AAA mainstay and isn’t good enough to keep on a major league roster. When you criticize the organization you work for and tweet transactions, you have to be willing to accept that there may be consequences, just as there would be for anyone else.

    1. In this case though, is Schwimer any worse off? He was competing with a lot of decent young arms here. I’m not sure what Toronto’s bp situation is, but maybe he’ll get a shot there.

  9. This was for the 40 man spot (likely for a catcher or another non-roster invitee), this seems like a fair trade (you move a guy with limited upside at an advanced age for a fringy prospect with an intriguing tool), I am not sure it was a needed trade though. I enjoyed having Schwimmer in the organization and I expect him to get innings out of the Blue Jay pen in 2013.

    For everyone that argues the value of a prospect based on proximity, Schwimmer made the reader Top 30 the past two years and his value is a 22 year old first baseman who just finished low-A

      1. Yeah. This trade should have happened during the top 30 votes. It would have saved a lot of wasted argument about the value of major league ready middle relievers.

      2. He’s a 27 year old, AAAA pitcher at best. Nowhere close to being a prospect, made the reader top 30 the past two years, because let’s be honest, what else did they have? This is a horrible example to use for prox. vs proj.

          1. That’s a little unfair to him and to us – it seems to me that he was pretty much always ranked appropriately. He had good statistics in the minor leagues and will likely find some role in the majors, he could even become a pretty useful set-up man. He and DeFratus have similar value and DeFratus has also been ranked. That being said, there were too many pitchers for available spots – hopefully, the first baseman we got also has some upside. His hit tool is suspect, but the power and plate discipline are good.

  10. Incidentally, to those wondering, Charles WAS promoted after his first year. He spent his first year in the GCL, and his second year in the more advanced Appalachian league.

    Looking up some of the Jays other top prospects, it looks like it’s not unusual for the high school picks to play most of their second year in the Appalachian league.

  11. Maybe, this actually shows the value Schwimmer has around MLB, not much at all. It would be naive to think that Amaro jumped at the first trade available. What if this was actually the best deal they could get for Schwimmer at this time? He was never going to climb past Aumount, DeFratus, Horst, Diekman or Knigge, so why not cut him lose and not waste his time or the Phillies time.

  12. Well trying to find some positives in this, Charles’ has improved each year so far and he did have a surprisingly high OBP (.380) for someone with such a low BA (.236). Maybe the Phils think they can fix a problem with his swing, or hope he’s a late bloomer.

  13. I guess this trade will definitely cause Serritella and Perkins to get pushed up to Clearwater. Still leaves a nice lineup for Lakewood.

    1. Roman Quinn, SS
    2. Mitch Walding, 3B
    3. William Carmona, DH
    4. Larry Greene Jr, LF
    5. Art Charles, 1B
    6. Brian Pointer, RF
    7. Gabriel Lino, C
    8. Andrew Pullin, 2B
    9. Kyrell Hudson, CF

    1. It was my impression that Serritella would be in Clearwater no matter what. Perkins will probably go to the outfield. This probably afeeects Carmona more than anyone, since it provides a left-handed bat to go along with Carmona’s right-handed bat in Lakewood. Who knows? Maybe performances in Spring Training will dictate how this realigns.

      1. You are probably right that it only effects William Carmona directly. At Clearwater, Dugan, Serritella and Perkins would probably rotate between 1B, RF and DH, either way.

        1. Aaron Altherr, LF
        2. Kelly Dugan, 1B
        3. Makail Franco, 3B
        4. Chris Serritella, DH
        5. Cameron Perkins, RF
        6. Josh Ludy, C
        7. Edgar Duran, SS
        8. Alejandro Villalobos, 2B
        9. Gauntlet Eldemire, CF

  14. Just to be clear, while Schwimer is fungible to the extent most teams have effective mid-20s relievers in AA/AAA, he certainly had the potential to be an effective 6/7/8 inning guy, as soon as this or next year. Not certain, but certainly the potential to be.

    Our big free agent signing, all 18 million dollars worth, is exactly that. From my perspective, what this really displays is how little regard our management has for the fungibility of one-inning relievers. Since the days of Ed Wade, I wouldn’t be surprised if our middle relievers have been on average the oldest and most expensive in all of baseball. No numbers to back that up, but just a hunch.

    1. And just because the subject is being rehashed, Michael Schwimer had every right to demand a second opinion on his elbow if he believed he was injured. If Schwimer thought his elbow was funky and was being sent down despite (or because of) it, more power to him. Maybe if athletes respected their bodies a little more, we wouldn’t be faced with the concussion crises we see now in football, and maybe TINSTAAPP would never have become a prospect meme.

      Whatever the case, the warrior complex being played out by fans attributing such negative connotations about a baseball player who would have the nerve to complain about being mistreated due to injury is a sad and shortsighted reminder that most fans really do believe major league athletes aren’t people like you and I.

      1. Major league players are treated well. It is minor league guys like Schwimer whom the Phillies tend to kick around. He had every right to file a grievance. Apparently the Phillies knew they had a losing case and shipped the embarrassment out of town.

        1. That’s right. He had every right to file a grievance. So why didn’t he!? What was he waiting for? To see if he made the team out of spring training? To see what kind of a shot he got to make the team out of spring training? And then, if he gets sent down, if he doesn’t think he got a proper shot, THEN he files? Why was he holding the threat of a grievance over the head of his employers like a hammer he could use at whatever time he saw fit? Because it fits with every other kind of selfish and narcissistic behavior he has repeatedly exhibited toward the organization. I might have had a modicum of the respect you guys want me to have toward him if he had simply filed the grievance. That’s standing up for your principles, not waiting to see if you can manipulate the will of your employer like a blackmailer. Weak. Bush. Glad he’s gone. You guys want a strong organization and yet you want them to put up with the undermining antics of a guy like him. Can’t have it both ways.

          1. yep, those there are some seriously negative connotations. Now we’ve added blackmailer to his list of personal deficiencies. I hadn’t seen that before.

            Thank you for making my point.

  15. i expect Schwimer to be traded due to his front office issues.
    I was hoping he’d be packaged with someone else for something of actual value.
    By himself I was hoping that Phillies could trade him for a good fielding middle infielder better than Blanco (so Galvis could start in the minors).

    1. Galvis will learn at the Major League Level. His glove is more valuable to the Phillies at this point. Blanco was taken off the ST contingent because he can’t play. From what I read, he was not released, but reassigned to Lehigh Valley. He had hurt his shoulder in the Venezuelan Winter League.

    2. I was hoping that Schwimmer was included in the Wilton Lopez deal (before we learned that Lopez has health problems).

  16. Charles ooks a lot lke a former minor league 1st baseman that faded away in A+. The guy ws Michael Durant. Big guy with big power who couldn’t hit his weight.

  17. No disrespect, but “telling it like it is” to your bosses, gets you canned in every other job known to man…………….unless you are the boss. In that case, you do the canning. I can count 4-6 middle relievers that are, or will be better moving forward.

  18. i always thought Schwimmers MLB success came mostly in mop up or non pressure situations. It seemed like whenever he was in a big spot, he got hit around. He is kind of like a Geoff Geary. Can put up good numbers in the 6th inning of a non close game. I wish him the best though, his contributions to the site were pretty cool.

  19. 1. Many of you are underrating Schwimer. The best predictor of pitching success is K/9IP. Schwim has seasons of 13.5, 12.3, 13.5, 13.1, 11.4, and 9.3 K/9IP in the minors. Those are exceptionally good seasons. He has the potential at this point in his career to be more than a fungible reliever.

    2. Charles is worse than he’s being portrayed. He has nearly a 30% K-rate in three seasons, 2 1/2 of them spent in rookie ball, after being drafted out of a JC, not out of HS. He’s been older than most of his competition every year. I don’t think there has ever been a player who reached the majors after being drafted out of a JC and spending the better part of 3 seasons in rookie ball.

    3. Schwimer got screwed by the Phils last year. He was doing them a favor in the big leagues, pitching through an injury at their request. When he became too hurt to be effective, they sent him down instead of DLing him. That is against the CBA, and he has every right to protect his interest. Trading him could result in another grievance.

    1. Lets put things in perspective. Schwimer has a low 90’s fastball with an average slider. He’s a sharp guy who knows how to get the best out of his stuff as possible. He might become the set up guy for some mediocre team some day.

      However, you make him sound like a saint. The whole DL ordeal wasn’t the first time he had an issue with the organization. Back in 2010 or 2011 he made it known in an interview he wasn’t happy that the Phillies had passed him when they needed a bullpen arm. He even made it sound like they should look to trade him if they didn’t believe in him. Then, he got his call up and stunk it up. After being sent down he went on twitter to announce his demotion, but the Phillies hadn’t provided an official release yet. Schwimer has his right as do the Phillies. They have the right to trade a guy who they have had multiple run ins with for nothing in return.

      You’re making the Phillies out to be bad guys in this situation. Schwimer might have gotten screwed last year with his injury, but he’s not exactly a squeaky clean dude. Bullpen guys with average stuff should have better sense than what he showed. I can’t be upset for the Phillies deciding to part ways with him.

  20. The folly is. that given SOMEONE’S change in attitude and/or some NEBULOUS set of circumstances Schwim May of helped this year. Charles no chance. BTW over 90 in Peru today and headed back tomorrow No Snow please

    1. Hurry back and get out your shovel. No more slacking.
      PS…..Wheels was in season shape yesterday on TCN telecast.

  21. catch….I think he is referring to bradindc’s comments on prospect Kevin Brady and South Carolinians and the aftermath that followed with his intial posting.

  22. Though a blip on the radar, I think this trade just further shows the ineptitude of Amaro. They absolutely could have gotten more for Schwimmer. The sooner he’s gone the better for the organization, top to bottom.

    1. How do you know that? What’s the going rate for a 27 yr old fringy MLB arm? I’m assuming of course that you have talked to scouts around the league and gotten input on what other teams would’ve given up. Otherwise a statement like that is without merit.

  23. I am not saying this is the best deal the Phillies would have gotten for Schwimmer, not is it one they couldn’t have gotten it later. But, this is not a bad move by management.

    The thing is there wasn’t a ton better deal out there to be made. The Phillies have no leverage in this deal, the Blue Jays are giving up their 40 man spot when they could get a similar pitcher at the end of Spring Training off of waivers or a non-roster invite. Getting something for a guy who was likely to be DFA’d before the end of the season (if he made it September he likely would have been removed to make room for someone like Kyle Simon, Kenny Giles, Morgan, Joseph, Asche, or any 2013 breakouts) is a good deal even if the response

    The Phillies made the deal now to have it better for the teams strategical thinking and to get some time in camp with the acquisition. The Phillies now know they have an open roster spot for evaluating how they will go into the season. Additionally, Charles will be in minor league camp for the Phillies so they can start to evaluate him and tinker with his swing if needed. I don’t know where he will end up but if jumps Duffy he could go to Clearwater where he would DH or play 1B with Serritella taking the other.

  24. Art Charles is a little younger than Cameron Perkins and almost a year younger than Chris Serritella, but has similar overall production. Some gave Perkins or Serritella votes as top 30 prospects. Some had Serritella or Perkins as Sleeper or Breakout Prospects.

    Art Charles: A- 2012, age 21, OPS .806, wOBA .366, BB 9.2%, K 28.9%, ISO .260
    Ca Perkins : A- 2012, age 21, OPS .759, wOBA .358, BB 4.8%, K 14.0%, ISO .104
    C Serritella: A- 2012, age 22, OPS .786, wOBA. 369, BB 7.1%, K 16.4%, ISO .140

    Charles is at least as good as Serritella as a prospect, at this point. One will need to get pushed to Clearwater for playing time.

    1. I agree with this, although Perkins is a guy who may not be limited to 1B down the road. But with Serritella, he got some attention because of a hot start that he didn’t quite maintain all the way through the season. Charle’s K% still sticks out like a sore thumb, but there is enough there that he merits following this season.

      1. Serritella, from every report I’ve read, is a below average fielder. That doesn’t help his argument.

    2. There is a difference in A- leagues. Williamsport is much more of a pitcher’s park, especially compared to the Northwest League. Perkins and Serritella (while neither is really a good prospect) also were not going to have the opportunity to advance in their first year. Charles had 3 years to get out of rookie ball. Not sure he is more than a younger Chris Duffy.

      The Phillies could have done a little better here, but it looks like they just wanted to get rid of Schwimer and move on. Probably a move of little consequence, but it is hard to argue that it was a decent deal or Charles is any good.

  25. This post with all due respect is quite an over-reaction. To say that the trade of a very, very replaceable middle relief arm at best stinks is a little much. I understand your personal bias and respect that, but this guy is a 27 year old Chad Durbin without the track record and the positive influence on a clubhouse. Schwimer has not handled himself the way he should throughout his tenure in the organization and if the team feels it appropriate to move on, they should do so and did. There will be 15 guys available next off season via free agency for low dollar, one year contracts, like Durbin should they find themselves in need of what Schwimer has to offer, and most will come minus the whining, the tweeting, and the litigation.

    1. Comparing Schwimmer to Durbin is a complete disrespect of Durbin. Schwimmer couldn’t hold Durbin’s jock in anyway.

      1. I think I stated pretty clearly he is Chad Durbin minus the track record and positive clubhouse influence. And how much did Durbin sign for? Roughly $1M for 1 year? Don’t understand how anyone can think this is a big loss.

  26. Lots of people are saying that this is the organization screwing Schwimmer for speaking up. I think they did him a favor. They shipped him somewhere where he is going to have an opportunity. In the Phil’s right handed pecking order, he is below Aumont, De Fratus, Stutes,and potentially Rosenberg. And who knows when he gets passed by Knigge/Giles. Bottom line: he wasn’t going to get much of an opportunity and now he is somewhere we he probably has much more of a chance to compete. Not a dick move by the Phillies.

    1. I agree. This is certainly an opportunity for Schwimmer to make a fresh start more then it should be any sort of punishment for him.

    2. Agreed. If they really wanted to hold a grudge they would have stuck him in the minors and had the manager rarely use him. This is Schwimmer getting off the hook and being able to have a clean slate somewhere and we got a lottery ticket in return. Good for both sides imo.

      1. Yes, on further reflection, they did him a favor of sorts. But I believe his personal conduct partially motivated the trade – I think they wanted no part of him going forward. That being said, it was better for everyone for the Phillies to move him and, yes, they really could have been dicks and were not.

  27. I like the trade. Pitchers like Schwimer can be found on the waiver wire and it’s a long shot Art Charles seems like he has potential to hit a lot of homeruns at the major league level.

  28. I know it is what we do here but I’m surprised it’s garnering this much attention. I never had a strong opinion one way or the other on Schwim. I see the move as neutral for club and player.

  29. At first, I was mad at the trade, but you have to figure that Schwim was screwed after what happened last year, so its not a surprise. This Charles kid is pretty big watching video of him, no way he’s 220, probably 240-245. Has a little of a wind up in his swing which I don’t like, could be a reason for his K’s. Don’t really see anything on him though based on stats and that he spent 2 1/2 years in Rookie ball without doing anything great.

Comments are closed.