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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

10/22/2020 : Eyeing Minor League Free Agents

The Phillies will have multiple roles to fill at the upper levels of the minor leagues that will require signing a few veteran free agents to minor league contracts. These types of acquisitions mostly go unnoticed but are important for the continuity of play and also almost always produce a few big league contributors. Here are a few candidates the Phillies might explore to sign on minor league deals.

Relief Pitchers :

Jimmy Yacabonis - the 28 year old RHP has ties to Philly, he’s a graduate of St. Joseph’s and his family is from Elizabeth, NJ. He was selected in round 13 of the 2013 draft by the Orioles and established himself as a hard throwing reliever with a sinking two seam FB that sat 94-95 but could go into the higher nineties. He made his major league debut in 2017 with Baltimore and pitched in the big leagues in each of the next three seasons ... battled control and posted high ERA’s. He signed with the Padres as a free agent this past December but was traded to the Mariners in August. He pitched in just two big league games ( with Seattle ) this summer ... recently declared free agency ... big arm who might be a find if he can be taught command and control ... reports say the high velocity sinker really moves 🧐.

Carl Edwards Jr - the 29 year old RHP was once a highly regarded minor league in the Cubs system that advanced to the big leagues in 2015 and appeared in 73 games for the 2017 team ... struck out 93 in 66 1/3 IP. He featured great spin and movement on his pitches and had a FB that sat mid to upper nineties. Edwards was traded to the Padres in 2019 and suffered thru injuries ( forearm strain ) ... he signed with the Mariners in December and pitched well in 5 appearances but was placed on the 60 day IL in August with again a forearm injury. Obviously if injured then no interest is warranted but if healthy could be a rebound signing that might have big upside.

Dominic Leon - the 28 year old RHP possesses a mid 90’s FB and served as the set up man for the 2017 Blue Jays when he posted a 2.56 ERA in 70.1 IP with 81 K’s. He debuted in 2015 with the Mariners and has also pitched for the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Indians. He seems like the kind of pitcher the Rays would swoop on, a big arm that might be reclaimed as a valuable bullpen piece ... maybe the Phillies should beat them to it 🤔 ... didn’t pitch well this summer for the Indians in 12 games statistically but went un-scored upon in seven of his outings. He’s had some elbow concerns in the past so that would need to be checked out 🧐.

Miguel Del Pozo - 28 year old LHP was once considered a prospect on the rise in the Marlins organization and was on their 40 man roster in 2017. He’s got the capability to hit 96 consistently on the radar but has struggled with command and control. Another candidate with an above average arm that might be re-tooled into an effective reliever. He’s pitched in just 22 big league games with the Angels and Pirates and has been in the Marlins and Rangers systems as well.

Juan Minaya - 30 year old RHP with an above average arm ... FB sits in the 94-96 range ... change up and slider as secondaries. Appeared in 22 games ( 27.2 IP ) with the White Sox in 2019 posting a 3.90 ERA with 27 K’s and 12 BB. He’s pitched for the White Sox in parts of four seasons but has also bounced back to the minors each year. This year he was with the Twins but did not appear in a game. He closed games for the 2017 White Sox.

Matt Magill - 30 year old RHP ... has pitched in parts of five major league seasons with the Dodgers, Reds, Twins and Mariners. His FB generally sits at 94-95 but he’s most effective with a heavy sinking cutter. Magill appeared in 11 games with the Mariners this season and tossed shutout baseball in all but two of his appearances ... his ERA got blown up when he gave up 5 runs in 2/3 IP on 8/17 against the Dodgers. He had a strong 2018 season with the Twins when he posted a 3.81 ERA in 40 games ( 56.2 IP). He was traded by Minnesota to Seattle on July 21, 2019. Generally a strike thrower with decent velocity ... might be worth a look at the least as bullpen insurance if not better ...

Catcher :

Caleb Joseph - the 34 year old has played in parts of six major league seasons since 2014 with the Orioles, Diamondbacks and Blue Jays. He’s a steady defender who’s now a free agent ... spent last season with the Blue Jays.

Infielders :

Christian Colon - 31 year old middle infielder who was the Royals # 1 selection in the 2010 draft from Cal State Fullerton. He’s a solid AAA level player who hit .300 for Indianapolis in 2019. He’s played parts of seven seasons in the majors ... appeared in 11 games this season worn the Reds.

Brandon Drury - 28 year old multi position player who’s spent parts of six seasons in the big leagues with the Diamondbacks, Yankees and most recently the Blue Jays. He’s had three major league seasons where he hit 16,13 and 15 home runs respectively. Would provide a versatile back up that perhaps could even break ST camp with the big team.

Just some lower cost options to look at that could potentially help the 2021 cause 🤷‍♂️.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

Photo by Michael Dill

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