The Phillies traded one of their catching prospects, Jason Jaramillo, to the Pirates earlier this offseason for Ronny Paulino. It sort of made sense to trade Jaramillo, after all Lou Marson is heralded as the top Catcher prospect and he seems just about ready to make the last step to play in the Majors.
But why Paulino?
The Phillies has Carlos Ruiz and Chris Coste at the position and they have both played well. Ruiz is the starter, mainly because of his ability to handle the pitching staff. Coste, who has been a little better offensively - not least in the clutch, also generally has been at his best when having a couple days off between starts and therefore in a way was the perfect backup to Ruiz. With Marson coming through all seemed well.
Is Paulino merely a trade chip to be used to acquire somebody else at another position?
Is the idea to let Paulino be the new backup instead of Coste and to trade him or Marson? Ruiz, after all is the logical starter come opening day. Coste is getting older but he has not showed any clear signs of slowing down that much and the question is if Paulino would be that much of an upgrade.
If Marson stays, there´s no sense in keeping him with the Iron pigs, at least not for any extended amount of time, and it´s hard to believe they will have four catchers on the roster.
If nothing happens before spring training this will be an interesting competition for roster spots.