The Phillies could use an addition to the bullpen at the trade deadline this year. Which ones are available, and which ones are worth it?
The Phillies bullpen has had its ups and downs this season. Their relievers rank 18th among all 30 teams in Fangraphs wins above replacement (fWAR) before Saturday’s action. They rank 15th in fielding-independent pitching (FIP) but ninth in ERA.
Hector Neris and Adam Morgan have led the way for the club’s bullpen, but overall it hasn’t been the best. More likely than not, the front office will try to add to the relieving corps before the July 31 trade deadline. With that in mind, which relievers are worth considering for a trade?
Seemingly out of nowhere, Ty Buttrey has been one of the best relievers in baseball this year. The 26-year-old has a 0.76 ERA, 7.75 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and a 0.97 WHIP in 23.2 innings pitched. He ranks second among all qualified relievers in fWAR, fifth in ERA, and 11th in strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Buttrey pitched just 16 games last year after being traded from the Red Sox to the Angels for Ian Kinsler. He did well after a late-season promotion but has come into his own this year.
Buttrey’s combination of youth and success should make him a valuable commodity. The Angels ought to consider keeping him around, but they once again look like they will be out of the playoff picture. Plenty of teams will be looking for bullpen help, and Buttrey may be the best option out there come July.
With that, attractiveness will come a considerable cost. Buttrey will still be under team control through 2024 and won’t even reach arbitration until the 2022 season. Teams will be lining up to add Buttrey to their bullpen, and it will come at a cost.
Philadelphia would have to give up at least one crucial asset in exchange for Buttrey. Cesar Hernandez could be that asset, but that’s entirely dependent on how he and Scott Kingery fare in the next two months.