PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies ended their long search for a left-handed-hitting backup outfielder late Saturday night, acquiring David Dellucci from the Rangers for pitcher Robinson Tejeda and outfielder Jake Blalock. The move also fills Philadelphia's need for a late-inning power source, and it should complete the team's 25-man roster. The Phillies don't have to make a move until Dellucci arrives, either on Sunday or Monday. Texas has also agreed to pick up part of Dellucci's $950,000 salary. The 32-year-old spent the past two seasons with Texas, recording career highs in homers (29), games played (128), RBIs (65) and hits (109) in 2005. Dellucci was set to be the Rangers' starting left fielder this season, but he will serve as a fourth outfielder with Philadelphia.
A career .259 hitter, his ability to play for an extended period of time is a bonus, given Pat Burrell's recurring right foot and left thigh injuries. "It was hard trading David," said Rangers general manager Jon Daniels. "He's been with us for two years. He has a strong relationship with the players and the community. He was pretty shocked." The teams had been discussing a swap for the past week, but the Rangers' interest in pitching intensified when projected No. 2 starter Adam Eaton went down with a finger injury. Philadelphia optioned Tejeda to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday, but he may slide into the Rangers' rotation. Tejeda went 4-3 with a 3.57 ERA in 26 appearances (13 starts) last season, while Blalock, a fifth-round pick in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, hit .279 with 11 homers and 65 RBIs last season for Class A Clearwater. His older brother, Hank, is the Rangers' starting third baseman. The trade doesn't bode well for the roster hopes of Chris Coste, who batted .463 this spring, or Tomas Perez, who had spent the past six seasons with the Phillies. One of them might get a reprieve if David Bell starts the season on the disabled list.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.