Pridie excited for new opportunity with Phillies

Pridie excited for new opportunity with Phillies

Pridie excited for new opportunity with Phillies
Jason Pridie's wife and family always wanted him to be a member of the Phillies.

That became a reality on Sunday afternoon when he donned No. 16 for the series finale against the Marlins.

With the departure of Jim Thome following a trade that sent him to Baltimore for two Minor League prospects, Philadelphia announced that it selected Pridie's contract from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Pridie, who plays all three outfield positions, saw action in 101 games last season for the Mets, hitting .231 with four homers and 20 RBIs. But he cleared waivers after being released.

"[This is a] division I saw a bit of, teams I know in the National League," Pridie said. "Double switching, that's the type of player I am as a defensive replacement, a baserunning guy, or if I need to be a pinch-hitter. I always thought being with the Mets last year moving to the NL was a good spot for me."

Two teams looked at him following his release -- the Phillies and A's. He signed a Minor League contract with Oakland over the offseason with an invitation to Spring Training because he saw an opportunity to start there.

But Pridie was suspended 50 games for a second drug violation under baseball's Minor League testing program. Granted free agency on June 4, he signed a contract on June 15 with the Phillies before being assigned to Lehigh Valley, where he hit .370 with one homer and six RBIs in 12 games.

"And like I said with what happened, it was a blessing in disguise, because it got me to not just appreciate the game more, but to understand how things can be taken away," Pridie said. "Injuries are one thing, but to have it on your own accord that you could've prevented it really hits home, and I had my kid on the way and my wife and the whole aspect. I wish it never happened and I could go back and change that, but everything happens for a reason. Hopefully, just stay positive. I never got down, and here I am. It's been a whirlwind. I think it'll make me a better person as a whole."

During his suspension, he worked out at the A's complex, taking swings and spending time with his wife, who played softball and was pregnant at the time. It helped him get mentally ready for the season.

The 28-year-old saw limited action -- 11 games and just four at-bats -- in two seasons from 2008-09 with the Twins before spending an entire year in 2010 out of the Majors. He was drafted in the second round of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft by Tampa Bay.

"One way or another I got here [to the Phillies]," Pridie said. "Obviously, it wasn't the route I wanted to take to get here, but I'm here now and I'm just excited and can't wait."