• Steve Potter

8/20/2020 : Potential Relief


Today the Phillies acquired 32 year old RHP David Hale from the Yankees ... could be the tip of more moves to come ...🤔


While it’s not likely that multiple trades will be made by this year’s 8/31 trade deadline it’s also probable that indeed some transactions will occur. Minor league players not included on the sixty man player pool cannot be traded by name this season but can be the “player to be named later” in a deal. The Phillies recent trade of Edgar Garcia to Tampa was of that variety.

The next week of games will go a long way in determining whether the Phillies feel compelled to dip into the trade market ... the bullpen being the area of most concern. An extended winning streak might prompt more urgency to acquire or stand pat 🤷‍♂️, a string of losses the opposite view ... playing somewhere in the middle of that leaves it up to gut feel.


At present the club believes they have four relatively solid relievers but beyond that they must weigh whether younger pitchers can fill the gaps or if it’s worth moving some of the younger folks elsewhere in order to acquire more tenured players ...


Here’s a look at some potential veteran bullpen acquisitions the Phillies may have interest in pursuing ... it’s believed that all of these of these hurlers are being made available by their present club.

Boston :


Brandon Workman : the 32 year old RHP is an unrestricted free agent next season ... he’s on a one year $3.5 million deal ( $ 1.3 Million prorated for 2020 ). Workman is the current closer for Boston and has four saves in seven games. He was Boston’s second round pick in the 2010 draft out of the University of Texas. He features an above average curve ball which he uses in about half of his pitches ... fast ball sits around 93 mph.


What it might take in exchange ?


Since he’s a pending free agent the return would likely be a prospect in the middle to lower half of a team’s “top thirty “ or a young pitcher already on the 40 man squad ... seems the Red Sox would want a controllable contracted player in return.


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Matt Barnes : the 30 year old RHP has one more year of arbitration before reaching free agency after the 2021 season. He currently makes $ 3.1 million ( $ 1.1 Million prorated for 2020 ). He was the Red Sox number one pick in the 2011 draft out of UConn. Barnes has appeared in nine games this season and has battled some control issues with 8 walks but has struck out 12 batters. He’s a hard thrower who sits in the 96-97 range ... something that is lacking in the present Phillies relief corps makeup.


What it might take in exchange ?


With another year of contract arbitration he’s got more value ... that likely bumps the price tag a bit for an expected return. Hard throwers are also more of a premium ... Boston would likely seek a couple “mid range” prospects or players in return even though he has struggled this season with throwing strikes and commanding his off speed deliveries ...


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Baltimore :


Mychal Givens : the 30 year old RHP has one more year of arbitration before reaching free agency after the 2021 season. He currently makes $ 3.2 million ( $ 1.2 Million prorated for 2020 ). He was the Orioles 2nd round draft selection in the 2009 draft out of high school. Givens has been excellent this season having yet to yield a run in nine games and striking out thirteen batters in nine innings pitched. He features a “power sinker” in the 92-95 range from a low angle delivery and has decent secondary pitches in his slider and changeup.


What it might take in exchange ?


There should be a lot of interest in Givens which will drive the asking price up as well. A “top 30” level prospect would very much be expected and likely someone in the upper half of the listings. The Orioles would probably be seeking at least two players if not three in return for a hot commodity like Mr. Givens.


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Miguel Castro : the 25 year old RHP has two more years of arbitration before reaching free agency after the 2022 season. He currently makes $ 1.05 million ( $ 388,000 prorated for 2020 ). He was originally signed by the Blue Jays out of the Dominican Republic in 2011, traded to the Rockies in 2015 and to the Orioles in 2017. Castro is a true power pitcher who reaches the upper nineties with his fastball and at 6’7” has a lower angle release point that’s difficult on right handers in particular. He gets great movement on his pitches, a high nineties sinking action.


What it might take in exchange ?


Baltimore is in rebuild mode and for someone like Castro they would likely seek a player that could be part of the new mix. In my opinion they would want a player who’s had some success in the big leagues, is still relatively young and would be under team control for a bit ... or someone whom might be on the verge of that ...


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Kansas City :


Trevor Rosenthal : the 30 year old RHP is an unrestricted free agent next season. His current contract is $ 2 Million ( $ 741 K prorated for 2020 ). He was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2009 in the 21st round and has pitched for the Cardinals, Tigers and Nationals in the major leagues. He’s a big arm pitcher who has reached triple digits with his fastball ... he has also struggled mightily in recent years with control. This season thus far he’s been excellent ... a 0.87 ERA in 11 games with 6 saves in 10 1/3 IP - 14 K’s and 4 walks.


What it might take in exchange ?


KC is another club looking to re-stock for the future. Rosenthal would likely require a lower range ( bottom third of the top 30 ) prospect and a lower level “wild card” in trade return for KC to move him. The Royals are very familiar with the Phillies GCL players, their local FLA scout is a regular in attendance at the complex.

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Seattle :


Carl Edwards : the 28 year old RHP has two more years of arbitration eligibility and won’t reach free agency till after the 2022 season. His current contract is for $950 K ( $ 352 K prorated for 2020 ). He was drafted in the 2011 draft by the Texas Rangers, was traded to the Cubs in 2013, to the Padres in 2019 and signed with Seattle this off season. Edwards is a high velocity hurler who reaches upper nineties with his fastball and gets a lot of spin rotation on his curve. This season he’s performed very well with a 1.93 ERA in 5 games ( 4 2/3 IP ). He had some very good seasons in Chicago as a multi game multi inning reliever.


What it might take in exchange ?


Seattle’s GM Jerry Dipoto is a Wheeler and Dealer ... he’s always seemingly looking for changes to his roster. For a pitcher with somewhat of a track record and team control he’s likely to want more of an upper tier mid level prospect and perhaps even another young player in return.

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Pittsburgh :


Richard Rodriguez : the 30 year old RHP has three more seasons of arbitration after this year and won’t be a free agent till after the 2023 season. He’s currently making $ 633 K ( $ 235 K prorated for 2020 ). He was originally signed by the Astros in 2010 from the Dominican Republic, traded to the Orioles in 2015 and signed as a free agent by the Pirates in 2017. He’s been a workhorse in the Pirates bullpen the last two seasons and in nine games this year has posted a 2.79 ERA in 9 2/3 IP with 13 K’s and just one walk. He features a high movement fast ball that sits in the 93-94 range and is a strike thrower.

What it might take in exchange ?


Pittsburgh is scuffling this season ... they’d likely be more than willing to trade Rodriquez for prospects in return ... likely would want a couple with at least one being in the “top 30 “ in their opinion. The Pirates are also a team that knows the Phillies lower levels well ... I became friends with their FLA scout who watches on the back fields with me 🤓.

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Keone Kela : the 27 year old RHP is a free agent after this season. He currently makes $ 3.7 million ( $ 1.4 Million prorated for 2020 ). He was drafted by the Rangers in the 29th round of the 2011 draft out of Everett Community College and was traded to the Pirates in 2018. He was only recently activated and has appeared in two games. Kela has been a reliable reliever over his career and posted 26 saves in the 2018 season. He’s also had some disciplinary issues and has served a 60 game suspension in that regard. Kela is a power pitcher with a FB that sits mid nineties but he also has triple digit capabilities. He also features a curve and changeup.


What it might take in exchange ?


Since Kela will be a free agent and got off to a late start this season the expected return shouldn’t be excessive. May be even able to do a cash transaction or an “under the radar” type prospect as the return.

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San Francisco :

Tony Watson : the 35 year old LHP is an unrestricted free agent after this season. He currently makes $ 3 million ( $ 1.1 Million prorated for 2020 ). He was drafted by the Pirates in the ninth round of the 2007 draft and has also pitched for the Dodgers where he was traded in 2017 and the Giants where he signed as a free agent in 2018. Watson isn’t noted as a hard thrower but has had a good deal of success in his career as a multi game capable reliever. This season in nine games he’s posted a 1.17 ERA in 7 2/3 IP.


What it might take in exchange ?


The Giants are looking to rebuild their system as well. Obtaining Watson would likely take a lower level minor leaguer with upside and/or international slot money. The Giants skipper is very familiar with the Phillies minor league personnel.

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Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️





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