The Phillies announced Friday that they’ve selected the contract of infielder/outfielder Pedro Florimon and designated infielder Eliezer Alvarez for assignment in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. The move seemingly indicates that Florimon will head north with the Phils as a utilityman to open the season, as he’s out of minor league options and now cannot be sent back to Triple-A without clearing waivers.
Florimon, a 31-year-old switch-hitter known for his glove at shortstop, spent the 2017 season with the Phillies organization and hit .348/.388/.478 in a tiny sample of 49 plate appearances with the big league club. That’s not representative of his skills at the plate over a larger sample, though, as he’s a lifetime .209./269/.308 hitter in 791 plate appearances between the Orioles, Twins, Pirates and Phils. Florimon has a gaudy +23 Defensive Runs Saved in 1808 career innings at shortstop, but he’s begun to move around the diamond more in recent seasons; the Phils gave him 79 innings in the outfield last year — his first big league action away from the infield.
The 23-year-old Alvarez hit .248/.318/.390 in 236 minor league plate appearances last season, most of which came at the Double-A level. He’s been primarily a second baseman in the minors, though he’s also seen a couple hundred innings of work at shortstop. Philadelphia acquired Alvarez from the Cardinals in the rare September trade that sent Juan Nicasio to St. Louis, and while he ranked 25th on the team’s top 30 prospect list this winter (via Baseball America), he’ll now likely be made available to all 29 other clubs via waivers or trade.
BA’s scouting report on Alvarez (subscription link) notes that he’s a contact-oriented hitter who projects to hit eight to 12 homers per season and has some question marks about his footwork on the defensive side of things. He did rank as high as No. 10 on the Cardinals’ top 30 prospects back in the 2016-17 offseason.