Veteran infielder Trevor Plouffe is returning to the Phillies on a minor league contract, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (Twitter link). He’ll report to camp tomorrow, Heyman adds. Plouffe is represented by CAA.
The 32-year-old Plouffe spent the 2018 season in the Philadelphia organization as well, appearing in seven big league games and making 12 plate appearances with three hits (including a memorable walk-off three-run homer in the 16th inning of a marathon game against the Dodgers). The rest of his season was spent with the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate, where he slashed .230/.347/.460 with a dozen homers and 16 doubles in 274 trips to the plate.
Plouffe was the Twins’ primary third baseman for a significant portion of the team’s downturn earlier this decade, logging 2201 plate appearances from 2012-15 and posting a solid .248/.312/.426 while averaging 18 homers and 29 doubles per season along the way. The right-handed-hitting Plouffe is a better option against lefties, as one might expect. A former first-round pick, Plouffe never found his footing as a shortstop at the MLB level but eventually settled in as a solid defender at third base in his best seasons. He eventually began seeing occasional work at first base, as well.
Plouffe seems like a long shot to make the Phillies’ roster out of Spring Training, given that the team’s two primary corner infielders, Rhys Hoskins and Maikel Franco, both hit right-handed. The organization has a left-handed-hitting corner option on the 40-man roster already (Mitch Walding), and Plouffe’s experience in the outfield is limited. That said, he’s an experienced depth addition to have on hand in the event of injuries at the MLB level, and the team’s trade of Carlos Santana earlier this offseason does create a slightly easier path for him to resurface at the MLB level at some point in 2019.