Far less surprising than a potential McCutchen deal, including Vince Velasquez on this list is a no brainer. Simply put, Velasquez isn’t very good and is due to get paid. Set to be an unrestricted free agent in 2022, the Phillies would be wise to try and pawn him off for value while they still can.
Despite boasting an impressive 6’ 3” 205lbs frame, Velasquez has failed to ever translate his athletic gifts into production on the mound. Across five seasons with the Phillies, Velasquez is 27-34 with a 4.67 ERA. He regularly struggles pitching deep into games and his slow pace of play has long drawn groans from the collective Phillies fanbase.
The Phillies and Velasquez settled on a salary of $3.6 million to avoid arbitration this past offseason, locking him in for at least the 2020 season. Despite massively struggling in 2019 (4.91 ERA), the Phillies seem determined to give him one final chance. While Velasquez got an honest chance at winning a starting job during Spring Training, it’s likely the Phillies view him more as a long reliever coming out of the bullpen.
In all honesty, Velasquez could be traded as soon as this year’s deadline (whenever that is). It shouldn’t take long for Joe Girardi and his staff to realize paying $3.6 million for Velasquez simply isn’t worth it.
However, if “Vinny Velo” manages to perform just well enough to hang around the entire season, the Phillies front office should be interested in pulling the trigger on moving the hard throwing right-hander the following season. Entering into another year of arbitration with Velasquez, just to see him likely walk in 2022, would be an ugly scenario.