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#pounditThursday, February 2, 2023

Articles tagged: Philadelphia Phillies

Phillies acquire two-time All-Star in trade with Tigers

Gregory Soto celebrating a save

Jul 7, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Gregory Soto (65) celebrates teams win against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies are adding a two-time All-Star to their bullpen in a trade with the Detroit Tigers.

The Phillies are acquiring reliever Gregory Soto from the Tigers in exchange for Nick Maton, Matt Vierling, and Donny Sands. Kody Clemens, the son of former MLB star Roger Clemens, will also move to Philadelphia in the deal.

Soto turns 28 next month and has shown himself to be incredibly tough to hit when he is throwing strikes. Control problems can be an issue for him, as he has walked a batter every other inning on average in his career, but he has a 3.34 ERA and 48 saves over his last two seasons with Detroit, both of which earned him All-Star nods.

Vierling, Maton, and Sands are secondary pieces for the Phillies who are likely to play supplementary roles with Detroit. That means the Phillies got a potentially valuable arm without giving up too much, a nice move for a likely contender.

Phillies losing ex-All-Star to division rival

Jean Segura in warmups

Oct 10, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Jean Segura (2) during a team workout for the NLDS at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies will have to defend their National League pennant without one notable player from last year’s roster.

MLB insider Hector Gomez reported on Wednesday that infielder Jean Segura has agreed to a free agent deal with the Miami Marlins. The deal is reportedly for two years and $17 million.

Segura, 32, has made two All-Star appearances in his career and hit .277 in 98 appearances for the Phillies last season. He also started 17 games for Philadelphia in the playoffs, all at second base.

The Phillies are in a good spot in the middle infield after bringing in Trea Turner on a gigantor of a deal this winter. But Segura is a nice consolation prize for a Marlins team that just missed on another notable infield target.

Craig Kimbrel signs with World Series team

Craig Kimbrel in his Dodgers uniform

May 30, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (46) reacts following the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Craig Kimbrel has signed with a new team.

Kimbrel reached a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies that will pay him $10 million, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Kimbrel joins a team that made it to the World Series last season while using several different relievers for saves. The 34-year-old had a disappointing season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He went 6-7 with a 3.75 ERA and got dropped from the closer role.

Kimbrel has been great throughout most of his career, but he has become more unreliable since leaving Boston after the 2018 season.

Kimbrel posted consecutive seasons with over 5.00 ERAs for the Cubs in 2019 and 2020. He was completely lights out with them in 2021, which led the White Sox to acquire him in a trade. He disappointed while pitching in a setup-man role for the White Sox though.

Dave Dombrowski, who is a president for the Phillies, acquired Kimbrel in a trade with the Padres in 2015. Kimbrel was excellent for the Red Sox and made the All-Star team in each year with them, which likely plays a big role in Dombrowski’s fondness for the veteran.

Trea Turner agrees to massive contract with Dodgers’ rival

Trea Turner running

Sep 4, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner (6) during the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies were the best team in the National League in 2022, and they have now gotten significantly better with a massive free agent signing.

Star shortstop Trea Turner has agreed to an 11-year, $300 million with the Phillies, according to multiple reports. The deal includes a full no-trade clause.

Turner, 29, enjoyed a career year with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season. He set career-high marks with 100 RBI and 39 doubles. Turner, a career .302 hitter, batted .298. He has led the NL in batting once and stolen bases twice.

The Phillies are one of the Dodgers’ biggest NL competitors. There was talk of Turner signing with another L.A. rival before he landed in Philly. It goes without saying that the Dodgers would have preferred if he landed with an American League team.

Of course, the departure of Turner will now create some financial flexibility for the Dodgers. They are said to be eyeing another one of the top players on the market.

Turner was traded to the Dodgers from the Washington Nationals midway through the 2021 season as part of the Max Scherzer deal. He stepped into a full-time starting role last season after Corey Seager left L.A. and signed with the Texas Rangers. Turner has since established himself as one of the best shortstops in baseball.

Dansby Swanson could leave Braves for big rival?

Dansby Swanson in his Braves uniform

Nov 2, 2021; Houston, TX, USA; Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson (7) reacts after turning a double play against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning in game six of the 2021 World Series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Fans of the Atlanta Braves may be clutching their chests at the latest news about longtime shortstop Dansby Swanson.

Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported on Saturday that the Philadelphia Phillies are among the teams showing active interest in the free agent Swanson ahead of next week’s winter meetings.

The 28-year-old Swanson is coming off a career year in which he was named an All-Star and won a Gold Glove Award. He has been a lifelong Brave and started for their 2021 World Series team. But the Phillies are Atlanta’s NL East division rivals and just eliminated the Braves in the NLDS this year.

With a World Series ring already in his possession, Swanson may just need to do what is best for himself financially at this point. On top of the Phillies, the former No. 1 overall pick Swanson may have another suitor in the NL.

Phillies targeting All-Star infielder in free agency?

Dave Dombrowski points

Oct 1, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Philadelphia Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski gestures in the dugout prior to the game between the Miami Marlins and the Philadelphia Phillies at loanDepot park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies may be coming for blood after falling short in this year’s World Series.

Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported on Saturday that the Phillies are believed to have real interest in free agent shortstop Xander Bogaerts of the Boston Red Sox. Heyman notes that Phillies president Dave Dombrowski, who held the same position for the Red Sox from 2015 to 2019 (including during their World Series title in 2018), has a strong link to Bogaerts.

The 30-year-old Bogaerts, a four-time All-Star and a five-time Silver Slugger Award winner, is widely regarded as one of the top options on the free agent market this offseason. He batted .307 with 15 home runs, 73 RBIs, and a 131 OPS+ in 2022, putting Bogaerts in position to land a contract that Boston does not sound too confident that they can match.

While the Phillies already have up-and-coming 25-year-old Bryson Stott at the shortstop spot, veteran second baseman Jean Segura is also a free agent this offseason. Stott has experience playing second, creating the possibility that he could toggle over to the other middle infield post to accommodate Bogaerts. In any case though, the Phillies will have to fend off some other heavy hitters to win the Bogaerts sweepstakes.

Phillies make important coaching decision after World Series run

Bryce Harper holding a helmet

Oct 22, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies designated hitter Bryce Harper (3) after hitting a RBI double in the first inning during game four of the NLCS against the San Diego Padres for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies are keeping one underrated piece from this year’s World Series run right where he is.

MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports Saturday that the Phillies have agreed to a two-year extension with their hitting coach Kevin Long. The 55-year-old Long is now under contract through the 2025 MLB season.

Long, who previously won World Series titles as New York Yankees hitting coach in 2009 and as Washington Nationals hitting coach in 2019, had just joined the Phillies prior to the 2022 campaign. He remained with the team after Joe Girardi, Long’s former Yankees colleague, was fired in the middle of the season and replaced by Rob Thomson. Long received credit for nifty work with veterans like Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, and JT Realmuto as well as with young guys like Bryson Stott, Alec Bohm, and Brandon Marsh.

Ultimately, the Phillies were a top-eight offense all year under Long, who made his third career World Series trip as a hitting coach. Keeping Long around for three more seasons will be huge for the Phillies as they look to build on their success, especially since Long is widely acclaimed leaguewide.

Trea Turner has interest in playing for NL East team?

Trea Turner running

Sep 4, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner (6) during the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Trea Turner is a top free agent in a talented shortstop class this offseason, and there is a rumor floating around regarding where he might want to play.

The Athletic’s Jayson Stark joined 97.5 The Fanatic for a radio interview that aired on Wednesday. Stark said that Turner may want to play for the Phillies.

“You hear a lot of Trea Turner talk. I am all-in on signing Trea Turner,” Stark said. “I’ll tell you guys, there’s some interesting rumblings that he wants to be here. So I would watch that.”

Turner was acquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers in a trade with the Washington Nationals in 2021. He was a monster in limited time with the Dodgers in 2021, batting .338 with a .950 OPS in 52 games. In 2022, he batted .298 with an .809 OPS and made his second straight All-Star team.

In addition to Turner, Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson make up the other top shortstops available on the free agent market. The Phillies could be in the market for a new shortstop after declining their option on Jean Segura.

Rob Thomson costs Phillies with bad decision in Game 6

Rob Thomson at a press conference

Oct 19, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; Philadelphia Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson (59) speaks to the media before the game against the San Diego Padres on game two of the NLCS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies lost Game 6 of the World Series 4-1 on Saturday night to end the series, and the team’s fans can thank Rob Thomson for making a brutal move to cost the team.

Thomson made a pitching change that helped the Houston Astros blow open the game in the sixth inning.

Starter Zack Wheeler entered the sixth having allowed just two hits and a walk against Houston. The game was scoreless. But then he hit Martin Maldonado with a pitch, got an out on a fielder’s choice, and allowed a hit to Jeremy Pena.

With runners on the corners and one out, rather than stick with Wheeler who had gotten Yordan Alvarez out twice, Thomson made a change.

He went with the lefty-lefty matchup and brought in reliever Jose Alvarado. Alvarez promptly punished the Phillies for the maneuver with a monstrous 3-run home run.

Houston added another run to make it 4-1 and that was all she wrote.

Thomson was asked after the game about his decision to pull Wheeler.

“I thought Wheeler still had really good stuff. It wasn’t about that. I thought that the matchup was better with Alvarado with Alvarez,” Thomson said.

“He still had his good stuff. I just thought that that was a key moment in the game and that was a momentum swing. I thought Alvarado had a chance to strike him out.”

What was missed from the analysis is that there was little advantage to going with Alvarado.

Alvarez hits lefties equally well as righties. This season, Alvarez hit .321 in the regular season against lefties compared to .299 against right-handers. He had a .998 OPS against lefties. Having him face a southpaw was not a disadvantage.

In 2019, the Astros blew the World Series by pulling Zack Greinke from Game 7 against the Nats when he was cruising at the slightest hint of trouble. In 2022, the Astros benefited from the Phillies pulling a starting pitcher in the clinching game at the slightest hint of trouble.

Thomson showed no trust in his starter, and apparently didn’t hear the same advice Dusty Baker had once received.

Nick Castellanos’ family not happy with Phillies fans

Nick Castellanos high fives teammates

Jun 17, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Nick Castellanos (8) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a run against the Washington Nationals during the third inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia is a notoriously difficult place to play. Oftentimes, it’s the opponent of whatever Philly team is playing that gets the brunt of the negativity, but sometimes it’s one of their own. Just ask Phillies outfielder Nick Castellanos.

During Game 5 of the World Series on Thursday night, Philly fans ran out of patience. They saw their series lead slipping away and decided to take it out on Castellanos and the outfielder’s family.

Castellanos’ wife, Jess, and his mother, Michelle, both sounded off after the game about treatment from Phillies fans.

The vitriol aimed at Castellanos is nothing new. He was booed off the field earlier this season and when asked about it, engaged in a heated exchange with a Phillies reporter.

Needless to say, it’s been a rough transition to Philly life for Castellanos and his family.

Although Castellanos has shined with the glove, he’s done little at the plate. Through five World Series games, he’s gone 3-for-20 (.150/.190/.200) with just one RBI and eight strikeouts. But he isn’t alone. The Phillies have just one hit with runners in scoring position since Game 1 and were no-hit in Game 4.

The Astros and Phillies will meet in Game 6 on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.