Phillies claim Oscar Mercado off waivers from Cleveland Guardians

MLB: SEP 21 Phillies at Indians
CLEVELAND, OH – SEPTEMBER 21: Cleveland Indians center fielder Oscar Mercado (35) hits a 2-run home run during the second inning of the Major League Baseball interleague game between the Philidelphia Phillies and Cleveland Indians on September 21, 2019, at Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

After Bryce Harper went down with a broken thumb, it was only a matter of time until the Phillies started to look for outside options. They’ve seemed to find one on the waiver pile.

LHP Damon Jones was moved to the 60-day IL to create room on the 40-man for Oscar Mercado.

He was designated for assignment by the Cleveland Guardians. He’s still pre-arbitration eligible, so his price tag was little to nothing.

Oscar Mercado Pre-Phillies

Mercado hasn’t had much success at the major league level. Since 2020, Mercado is hitting .198 with a .585 OPS. The Phillies will be hoping that he can find a way back to his 2019 form when he placed 8th in AL Rookie of the Year voting. That season he slashed .269/.318/.443 with 15 homers and 15 steals.

Mercado was most likely picked up for his outfield flexibility. He’s played at all 3 outfield positions just this season. He’s also flashed Gold Glove potential patrolling the outfield.

Mercado’s best feature for the Phillies is that there is absolutely no risk in picking him up. If the Phillies find a better major league piece before the trade deadline, he’s easily droppable. If he finds success in Philadelphia it’s just icing on the cake.

As a righty, Mercado will most likely split time with lefty Mickey Moniak who was just recalled from Lehigh Valley.

These low-risk moves aren’t sexy but they can lead to finding the all-elusive diamond in the rough.

Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire