Phillies shopping catcher Paulino
Coste likely to serve as backup at position for Ruiz
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- It looks more and more like Chris Coste will be Carlos Ruiz's backup this season.
Baseball sources said Wednesday the Phillies are letting teams know that catcher Ronny Paulino is available in a trade, just months after they acquired him in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates for Minor League catcher Jason Jaramillo.
Paulino, who fell out of favor in Pittsburgh because of issues with his weight and work ethic, does not seem to have shown the Phillies enough this spring to make them feel he is a better alternative than Coste.
"He's done some things well for us," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday about Paulino. "Both he and Coste have done some things well."
Paulino and Coste both have options, so the Phillies actually could option one of them to the Minor Leagues. But the Phillies would prefer to move Paulino, who was an everyday catcher for the Pirates from 2006-07, because they expect Lou Marson to be their everyday catcher in Triple-A Lehigh Valley and there would be nowhere for him to play.
The Florida Marlins could be a fit. They had interest in Coste during the Winter Meetings in December, so they could have interest in Paulino because Ivan Rodriguez signed with the Houston Astros.
There had been talk the Phillies could open the season with three catchers, but Amaro said Tuesday that is a remote possibility.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday that the Phillies have some interest in Giants left-hander Jack Taschner. The Phillies had interest in Taschner last year before they acquired Scott Eyre from the Chicago Cubs.
Taschner could make sense, if the price is right. First, he makes only $835,000 this season. The Phillies had interest in free agent left-handers Joe Beimel and Will Ohman, but only if they would have played for $1 million or less. Second, Taschner is left-handed, and the Phillies could use a lefty with J.C. Romero serving a 50-game suspension to start the season.
Taschner went 3-2 with a 4.88 ERA in 67 appearances last season, but is 8-4 with a 5.01 ERA in his four-year career. He also has a 6.23 ERA in 8 2/3 innings in the Cactus League. He has allowed 10 hits and 12 walks.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.