With their first acquisition of the offseason, the Phillies have made what appears to be a contingency plan move, bracing themselves for the possibility that they can't adequately address their vacancy in center field with proven major league talent.
Thursday, the Phillies selected 22-year-old left-handed outfielder, Ender Inciarte, in the Rule 5 draft from the Diamondbacks system.
Per Rule 5 rules, Inciarte must remain on the Phillies 25-man roster throughout 2013.
Considering the investment -- only $50,000 exchanges hands -- the Phillies could opt to breach that mandate, which would send Inciarte back to the Diamondbacks.
But without follow-up on trade talks for Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler, and no development whatsoever for free agent center fielders Josh Hamilton and Michael Bourn, the Phillies appear to have made the move they could.
Inciarte hit .307/.376/.421 with two home runs and 47 RBIs in 127 games within two Arizona Single-A levels, but should be considered a defensive specialist.
In 93 games at center a year ago, he committed just four errors on 241 chances for a .983 fielding percentage.
Colorado's recent activity would indicate that talks between the teams haven't progressed. The Rockies re-signed veteran starter Jeff Francis and selected Daniel Rosenbaum, 25, from the Nationals system in the Rule 5 draft Thursday.
The team reportedly sought "pitching for now and in the future," presumably for Vance Worley and/or Tyler Cloyd. Considering how well their moves since opening talks with Philadelphia fit that description, though, this ship may have sailed.