Both the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians are a rarity as we approach the trade deadline: Teams looking for more hitting, not pitching. Their answer could be found with the Philadelphia Phillies and Cameron Rupp.
Despite a better than expected season for the Phillies, they’re still in trade-for-assets mode, which makes Rupp, 27, a potential trading block kind of player. He’s young, hitting well and under a very controllable contract, but when you’re not looking to compete just yet and have some interesting prospects coming up, you’re going to think of what to get out of him via trade, not what you can get out of him on the field.
For both the Indians and the White Sox, this is about adding depth to the lineup, after some disappointing productions from their backup hitters. The Indians have less to complain about considering they’re leading the AL Central, but their entire house of cards is leaning on an excellent starting pitching, which is always volatile.
Rupp, catcher, is batting .287 through 209 at-bats, with nine home runs and 26 RBIS, already matching last season’s production, which came in 81 games (56 so far this season). His OPS of .836 is the best he’s had in his short career, making his debut for the Phillies in 2013. His defense is good, doing a good job when it comes to double plays, and the range he’s capable of covering.
But maybe the best thing about Rupp is his controllable contract situation. He isn’t eligible for arbitration until 2018, and isn’t eligible for free agency until 2021, giving teams four more years of having him “under control”. The Phillies aren’t in a rush to trade him, but if he can land them some good prospects, they’ll be moving him in the next 18 days.