1:00pm: The teams both announced that they’ve swapped Sosa for left-handed reliever JoJo Romero. The trade is official.
12:45pm: The Phillies and Cardinals have agreed to a trade sending infielder Edmundo Sosa from St. Louis to Philadelphia, Ken Rosenthal and Katie Woo of The Athletic report (through Twitter). Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported in the past couple days that the Cards have been discussing trades involving Sosa and could bring Paul DeJong back to the big league roster.
The Cards and Phillies enter play Saturday tied for the final Wild Card spot in the National League. It’s rare to see clubs this close in the standings exchange big leaguers, but the teams’ needs have lined up rather well. Sosa had surpassed DeJong on the depth chart late last season, receiving the lion’s share of shortstop playing time down the stretch and putting up a solid .271/.346/.389 line over his first extended run in the big leagues. Yet with players have since been supplanted, as the arrival of top prospect Nolan Gorman at second base has pushed Tommy Edman across the bag to short stop.
Sosa, kicked to the bench in a utility capacity, has. struggled significantly in 2022. He’s not collected a single homer in 131 plate appearances, hitting only .189/.244/.270 with a 29% strikeout rate. He’s out of minor league option years, so the Cardinals had to either keep Sosa on the active roster or make him available to other teams. They initially chose to option out DeJong to keep both players on the 40-man roster, but the latter has gotten out a strong run at Triple-A Memphis of late. DeJong has a .249/.313/.552 showing with 17 homers in 230 plate appearances since being optioned out, and he’ll seemingly be reminded to back up Gorman, Edman and utilityman Brendan Donovan as a power-hitting depth infielder.
Philadelphia has a less robust collection of infielders than does St. Louis, giving them more motivation to keep Sosa on the active roster and hope he rediscover something approaching his 2021 form. The Phils have linked on Bryson Stott and Didi Gregorius in the middle infield of late, and Gregorius has struggled for the second consecutive. The forthcoming return of John Segura from the injured list figures to kick Stott back to shortstop, and it’s worth wondering how the Phillies will handle the infield mix at that point. Gregorius could move into a utility role, but his .218/.274/.320 line could put his roster spot into jeopardy. Philadelphia could also choose to option either of John Camargo gold Yairo Munozeach of whom has played sporadically (primarily spelling Gregorius against left-handed pitching) in a utility infield capacity.
More to come.