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Phillies Land Reliever Taschner

There's been plenty of speculation at spring training about whether the Phillies would finally add a left-handed reliever to bridge the gap until J.C. Romero returns from his steroids suspension. Well, they finally have, acquiring the Giants' Jack Taschner for backup catcher Ronny Paulino, who was then quickly spun off to the Marlins for right-handed minor league pitcher Hector Correa. San Francisco Chronicle writer Henry Schulman first broke the trade late last night.

From a demographic standpoint, Taschner makes a lot of sense for the Phillies. He's a left-hander, so he can help Scott Eyre in the bullpen while Romero is out. He's also a veteran who was ready to leave San Francisco after a sub par 2007, so he could be in an ideal frame of mind to come in and contribute for Philadelphia immediately.

Unfortunately, that sub par 2007 is also why the deal is a bit of a head-scratcher. Taschner, who will probably be called upon most to face left-handed hitters, allowed lefties to hit .279 last year, with an on-base percentage of .333. That's right, one out of every three lefties to come up against him got on base. Add to that the fact that he was worst on one day of rest, and the Phillies will probably have to pick their spots when using the Wisconsin-Oshkosh alum.

Or maybe they won't. Maybe all Taschner needed was a change in scenery. Who knows.

By trading away Paulino, the Phillies also confirmed that Chris Coste, once again, will be the team's backup catcher. At this point, Coste's at-bat music should be "Survivor" by Destiny's Child. For three years, the Phillies have brought in other veteran catchers to compete with him and, in theory, beat him out. Then it doesn't happen. It's amazing.

Paulino
could be a good fit in Florida, which was looking for a catcher and reportedly was in on Pudge Rodriguez until the star of the Puerto Rican World Baseball Classic team signed with the Astros.

In theory, Paulino will back up John Baker, who came up and played well for the Marlins last year in only 61 games. But that all assumes that Baker will A) stay healthy and B) avoid a sophomore slump. If either happens, Paulino could trip right into the starting line up.

So, what do people think of the deal? Who got the best of it? Does Taschner really fit the Phillies' needs? And could Paulino be the steal of the deal, by landing in Florida?

By Cameron Smith  |  March 28, 2009; 4:14 PM ET
Categories:  Giants , Marlins , Phillies  
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