The Phillies bullpen woes could be fixed by an inter-division trade
After striking out on acquiring Padres closer Brad Hand, the Phillies opportunities in the bullpen market have taken a hit. While the bullpen is 12th in runs allowed per game with 4.14, there’s certainly room for improvement going into the second half of the season.
Marlins reliever Kyle Barraclough (pronounced Bear Claw) is a name to watch as the trade deadline approaches. The righty just turned 28-years-old and will go into his first offseason of arbitration eligibility, giving a team three more years of team control.
Philadelphia needs a lefty specialist, and while Barraclough isn’t a southpaw his numbers are slightly better against lefties this year.
With a 1.28 ERA in 44 games this year, Barraclough has held lefties to a .121 batting average compared to righties hitting .130 in 11 more plate appearances.
Barraclough doesn’t give up many home runs, serving up only 10 in 210 major league games for Miami. He’s given up just one in his last 35 games and has a 1.07 ERA over that span.
One worrisome note is Barraclough’s recent strikeout decline. After posting 113 punchouts in 2016, his sophomore season, his strikeouts dipped to 76 while playing just nine fewer games.
After 44 appearances in the first half of the season Barraclough has 47 strikeouts in a heightened role as the Marlins closer. This points to a turnaround, which should ease the concerns over last season.
What’s the price for Barraclough at this point? He’s been traded once before as a prospect in 2015 for Steve Cishek and his value should be at an all-time high for the rebuilding Marlins.
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Will the price be greater with them known he’ll dominate in the division for a rising rival? Perhaps, but that shouldn’t hold up a franchise-changing move for Miami.
Hand and Adam Cimber cost Cleveland their top prospect, catcher Francisco Mejia, so the price tag on Barraclough could be similar. Jayson Stark reported the Phillies were willing to move 2017 first round pick Adam Haseley (#3 prospect per MLB Pipeline) in a deal for Manny Machado.
Is Haseley on the trade block in general despite being promoted to Double-A after barely playing a full professional season, or did the Phillies step up in their Machado discussions by offering him reluctantly?
It’s going to take a well-known prospect to move the needle in trade discussions.
It’s time for Matt Klentak to be bold and pull the trigger on a deal, and Barraclough could be the missing piece for the bullpen not just this year, but for seasons to come.