The Phillies saw all-star second baseman Chase Utley go down with a broken hand that will sideline him for at least a month and decided not to give up on their season. Instead, they sent minor league righthander Michael Dubee to the White Sox for Japanese second baseman Tadahito Iguchi.
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Iguchi was an above-average hitter when he first came to the U.S. from Japan, helping lead the White Sox to the 2005 World Series championship with 15 homers during a .278/.342/.438 season. He's slipped a bit each season since then, and this year his lack of power has left him below-average offensively. He has improved his walk rate this season, sports a solid on-base percentage and is an efficient basestealer. Iguchi makes just $3.25 million this season, and becomes a free agent at season's end.
Dubee is the son of Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee, which might have made for an awkward moment or two for Phillies general manager Pat Gillick when making this deal. Dubee has pitched well at low Class A Lakewood this season, his first full one in the minors, working in middle relief. He has a knack for pitching and throws strikes with an average to slightly above-average fastball that touches 94 mph. He also throws a changeup and uses his curveball as his out pitch. He was drafted out of high school by the Royals (32nd round, 2005), then went to Okaloosa-Walton (Fla.) Junior College as a draft-and-follow. He didn't sign with Kansas City but signed with the Phillies as an 18th-rounder in 2006.
The White Sox traded for Danny Richar (from Arizona) with an eye on losing Iguchi to free agency in the offseason; with this trade, they moved up Richar's timetable. Cheaper and younger isn't a bad idea when you're fighting the Royals for last place in the American League Central. Meanwhile, Iguchi's a solid stopgap for the Phillies, especially considering the modest price they paid.