Report: Phillies Agree to Terms With Utility Player Coghlan
Less than two weeks from the date that pitchers and catchers are set to report to Clearwater, the Phillies are making finishing touches to their roster. While the 40-man roster remains full, the Phillies reportedly have added a bat on a minor league deal that could crack the big league roster come opening day. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that the Phillies have agreed to terms with utility player Chris Coghlan.
Coghlan beat out former Phillies pitcher J.A. Happ for the 2009 National League Rookie of the Year Award, batting .321 and an .850 OPS. Originally a member of the Florida Marlins, Coghlan almost immediately became a utility player and has served in that role for the Marlins, the Chicago Cubs, and most recently the Oakland Athletics before hitting free agency this past offseason.
Coghlan has played center field, left field, right field, second base, third base, and first base in his career. Also appealing to the Phillies is that Coghlan hits from the left side. The Phillies enter camp with no clear left-handed pinch hitter on the 40-man roster. Infielder Andres Blanco is a switch hitter, but Blanco often is the last bat off the bench to back the team up at shortstop and second base.
Coghlan will likely compete with other minor league signees Daniel Nava, Pedro Florimon, and Hector Gomez. Taylor Featherston also remains under Phillies control and can serve as a reserve infielder. Nava and Coghlan may have the early advantage as left-handed hitters who can serve as a backup to first baseman Tommy Joseph.
Coghlan split 2016 between the Chicago Cubs and Oakland Athletics, putting together one of his tougher offensive seasons. Coghlan batted just .146 in 51 games for the Athletics. After departing the Athletics and re-joining the Cubs, Coghlan batted .252 the rest of the way. Lifetime, Coghlan is a .260 hitter.
Pitchers and catchers report on February 13, with full squad workouts beginning February 17.