Phillies: Most impactful trade made with every team
Colorado Rockies: Pat Neshek
"On July 26, 2017, the Philadelphia Phillies traded Pat Neshek to the Colorado Rockies for Jose Gomez, Alejandro Requena and J.D. Hammer."
The Phillies and Rockies have only made four trades since the Rockies’ first season in 1993. No offense to Ty Wiggington, Ed Vosberg, and James Pazos, but none of those deals are “impactful.”
In 2017 the Phillies made an attempt to squeeze into the playoffs by adding veterans like Howie Kendrick, Michael Saunders, Joaquin Benoit, and Pat Neshek. If the team overperformed, they would have some veterans ready to help in the locker room and on the field. If the team underperformed, they had some trade bait.
Winning just 66 games in 2017, it became clear these guys were going to be trade bait.
Neshek was arguably the Phillies best player that season with a ridiculous 1.12 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 43 games. His stuff was as electric as it was bizarre with a submarine style arm.
He was also a great guy off the field, offering to sign anything fans sent his way.
On July 1 the Phillies were 20 games back in the division and at one point that month they were 30 games under .500, a terrible team stuck in a rebuild.
While the Saunders signing didn’t result in the trade value GM Matt Klentak hoped for, Neshek became a hot commodity for teams looking for a dominant setup man or closer. This trade with the Rockies was about the best Klentak could have hoped for.
The Phillies were able to get three pretty solid prospects back for Neshek, something rarely heard of when you’re trading a 36-year-old setup man on a one-year deal.
Infielder Jose Gomez was one of the Rockies’ top-30 prospects at the time of the deal and he moved onto the Phillies list once the deal was done. He’s still a very infielder in the Phillies system who hit .266 between Clearwater and Reading last season.
Starting pitcher Alejandro Requena had a very promising start to his career in the Phillies system, posting a 3.44 ERA in 2018 between Rookie ball and Clearwater. He struggled in 2019 when he moved up in the system with an ERA of 4.86 in Clearwater and Reading. If the season started today he would likely start in one of those two’s rotations.
J.D. Hammer, a hard-throwing reliever straight out of Major League, is the biggest mystery of the deal. The minute the trade was made he became a fan favorite with his big glasses and long hair.
Hammer came up in 2019 and had a really good start to his career with three shutout appearances with five strikeouts. In 15 of his 20 appearances he allowed no earned runs and allowed no more than two in any outing.
Shockingly, the Phillies designated him for assignment and moved him to the minors to start 2020. There must be something that fans aren’t aware of because Hammer seemed like too good of an arm to throw out there on the waiver wire.
Hopefully all is well and Hammer contributes to the big league roster sooner rather than later.