As the long-awaited baseball offseason approaches, the Phillies will be looking to add a veteran arm to their starting rotation. The editors of “That Ball’s Outta Here” and “Motor City Bengals” made a mock trade that would benefit both teams
In the second edition of our mock trades between FanSided’s MLB sites, we called up the editors of Motor City Bengals to discuss a deal between the Phillies and Tigers.
This trade quickly became a lot more complicated than ones we’ve pursued in the past. There was mutual interest between both sides, but each coveted their lower-level prospects.
Philadelphia locked eyes on Anibal Sanchez, who is in the final guaranteed year of his contract. He is three years removed from finishing fourth in the Cy Young voting after posting a league-best 2.57 ERA. Due to turn 33-years-old by Spring Training, the righty has regressed in recent years.
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Regardless of the recent regression, the Phillies need an experienced starter for at least the first four months of the season. Once the health of Aaron Nola and Zach Eflin is fully determined and the rest of the pieces (Eickhoff, Thompson) are in place, Sanchez can be moved at the deadline. This will create the perfect opportunity for Ben Lively, Nick Pivetta, or hopefully Mark Appel to make their Phillies debut.
Sanchez’s contract will cost $16 million for the 2017 season, and there is a club option for 2018. With the option worth another $16 million with a $5 million buyout, the Tigers included cash to cover the buyout for the 2018 team option.
All of the Phillies major contracts will be coming off the books this year, so the $16 million for 2017 will not be an issue.
Matt Hall, a 23-year-old pitcher, is the prospect who comes over along with Sanchez. Currently ranked the Tigers 22nd best prospect, Hall will either slide into the back of a rotation or come out of the bullpen. While his fastball tops out in the upper 80’s, he has an above average curveball and will throw in both a slider and changeup. The best part is Hall has very good command of his pitches, something not seen with young pitchers. If he can be a lefty specialist in the Phillies bullpen, the organization will be pleased.
In Single-A Hall had an 8-0 record in 12 starts, with an outstanding ERA of 1.09 in 66.1 innings of work. He had 72 strikeouts, walked just 21 batters, and did not give up a home run.
After his outstanding start to the season Hall was promoted to Advanced-A Lakeland, when he worked as both a starter and a reliever. His ERA finished at 4.15 through 12 games, 11 of which were starts.
Hall has an ETA of 2018, which is perfect for the Phillies future plans.
Being moved in the trade are Jimmy Paredes, Malquin Canelo, and Alberto Tirado. Detroit expressed immediate interest in Paredes, who we were more than willing to move. In 150 plate appearances Paredes had a .217 batting average while platooning in the outfield.
Canelo has been moved twice in our mock trades, simply because the Phillies have a logjam a shortstop. Top prospect J.P. Crawford will arrive in Philadelphia next season, and Freddy Galvis is currently holding down the fort well with defense and power.
Tirado was tough to move, but in comparison to the other prospects requested, the decision was much easier. The 28th rated prospect in the Phillies organization, Tirado was acquired in the Ben Revere trade with Toronto. The 21-year-old pitched in both Lakewood and Clearwater this season with a 3.90 ERA in 22 games. He’s bounced between the rotation and bullpen with an above-average fastball and a major league slider.
At face value a three-for-two trade involving a veteran pitcher does not look appealing, and is reminiscent of the Ruben Amaro Jr. regime. Paredes, who is entering his first year of arbitration, was basically a throw-away in the deal. Colquin won’t be needed by the Phillies based on the current state of the organization, and moving a low-end prospect like Tirado is not as drastic when you look at the potential return Sanchez could bring at the deadline.
It will not be the nicest looking deal ever made by Philadelphia, but they added a veteran arm to their rotation and possibly found the lefty-specialist of a championship bullpen.
Special thanks to the Motor City Bengals editors for joining us in this series. You can visit their site and read their thoughts on the trade here.