The Phillies and infielder Vimael Machin have agreed to a minor league contract, reports Melissa Lockard of The Athletic (Twitter link). Machin himself all but confirmed as much, thanking the Phils for a new opportunity in a tweet of his own.
Machin, 29, has spent the past three seasons with the A’s, who selected him out of the Cubs organization in the 2019 Rule 5 Draft. He’s seen sparse action at the MLB level, appearing in 112 games and tallying just 361 plate appearances during that time. The resulting .208/.290/.261 slash he’s posted as a big leaguer, understandably, hasn’t exactly been enough to force his way into the lineup more frequently.
That said, Machin has regularly been a terrific hitter at the Triple-A level, and that continued in 2022 when he slashed .324/.401/.457 with more walks (11.3%) than strikeouts (10.3%). Overall, he’s a career .307/.400/.468 hitter in Triple-A, where he’s walked at a hearty 12.8% clip with just a 14.9% strikeout rate. Machin hasn’t posted plus defensive metrics at any position in the Majors, but he’s played all four infield slots in the big leagues in addition to spending 23 games in left field in the minors.
The Phillies already have a deep infield mix, with defensive standout Edmundo Sosa likely ticketed as their primary infield option off the bench. Newly acquired infielder/outfielder Kody Clemens gives them another reserve option as well. However, the vast majority of Phillies players who are on the 40-man roster but ticketed to open the season in the minors are pitchers and outfielders. The organization is fairly thin on infield options in the upper minors, so bringing in a productive Triple-A veteran who can handle multiple infield spots makes some sense.