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07/27/07 8:56 PM ET
With Utley out, Phillies acquire Iguchi
Philadelphia sends pitching coach Dubee's son to White Sox
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- Within hours of Chase Utley's pin insertion into his broken right hand, the Phillies made a move to insert a new second baseman. In a rapid turnaround, Philadelphia acquired Tadahito Iguchi from the White Sox for Minor League right-hander Michael Dubee. Iguchi, 32, is expected to arrive in time for Saturday's game against Pittsburgh, and will help fill the void left by Utley, who underwent surgery earlier in the day and could miss three to six weeks. "We wanted to do something and wanted to move quickly," assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle said. "Obviously, you don't replace Chase Utley, but we wanted the guys in clubhouse to understand that we wanted to step up and come up with a suitable replacement to help us stay competitive." Of the potential second-base acquisitions -- Mark Loretta and Mark Grudzielanek to name two -- the Phillies viewed Iguchi as the most attractive. He's expected to get the bulk of the playing time in Utley's absence, is viewed as a solid defender and a good situational hitter. The Phillies found a fit with the White Sox, who are seeking to find more playing time for rookie Danny Richar and free up some money. The free-agent-to-be will earn $3.25 million this season. White Sox general manager Kenny Williams said he called Phillies GM Pat Gillick on Thursday night after watching "SportsCenter" and seeing Utley's injury. By 4 p.m. ET on Friday, after approximately six phone calls, the Phillies had a new second baseman. Manager Charlie Manuel said Iguchi will likely hit second. "I'm very shocked," Iguchi said thought interpreter David Yamamoto. "I've spent two and a half seasons here. I wanted to stay in Chicago. I had no idea something like this was going to happen. On the other hand, it's a great feeling that there's a team out there that has a need for me. I'm really honored." Iguchi said he wasn't sure what to expect in a new city. Other than the White Sox's trip here last month in Interleague Play, Iguchi doesn't know the area. He takes comfort in having won a World Series with Aaron Rowand in 2005 and having played with Ryan Howard this fall on a barnstorming tour through Japan. "It's very comforting knowing that I know a few people there," said Iguchi.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.