Phillies rumor: Team interested in signing pitcher Drew Smyly
The Phillies continued turning over every rock as they reportedly have interest in yet another starting pitcher to possibly add to the rotation.
UPDATE: Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Friday morning that the Phillies and Smyly have agreed to a deal. He does not specify whether the deal is minor or major-league.
The Phillies are reported to be “very aggressive” in pursuing pitching help at the deadline, following every lead they get. They are hoping to resuscitate their playoff hopes with less than two weeks remaining before the trade deadline hits. However, the club could add through free agency rather than trade.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported, and Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer confirmed that the team is interested in signing free-agent starting pitcher Drew Smyly. He became a free agent after opting out of his minor-league deal with the Brewers Thursday.
On the surface, Smyly doesn’t jump off the page for anything other than being left-handed. In 13 appearances with the Rangers this year, he had an 8.42 ERA, 8.05 fielding-independent pitching, 1.909 WHIP, and 1.53 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In three starts with Milwaukee’s Triple-A team, he had a 4.97 ERA and 1.026 WHIP.
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Smyly has an excuse not to pitch well as he had not thrown a major-league pitch before this year since 2016 due to Tommy John surgery. In his first four years in the majors from 2012 to 2015, Smyly had a 3.24 ERA, 124 ERA+, and 1.167 WHIP in 126 appearances between the bullpen and rotation.
Overall, Smyly may not provide much outside of adding a lefty to the rotation. Neither Salisbury nor Lauber note whether Smyly would be on a significant or minor-league deal. If Smyly can recapture some of what made him such a reliable pitcher before his injury, he could help what has been a struggling rotation.
Signing Smyly would be more up Philadelphia’s alley as it would not involve any serious commitment by the team. Salisbury added that the club had pursued other marginal options such as Andrew Cashner and Homer Bailey. However, Salisbury also wrote that they may still attempt to land bigger fish such as Madison Bumgarner, Matthew Boyd, Mike Minor, and Zack Greinke.
The next few weeks will determine how aggressive Philadelphia gets at the trade deadline. If they don’t think they can cut it, they could instead add more marginal options like Smyly.