Phillies face tough decisions with 9 eligible free agents
By Matt Rappa
4. David Phelps
The now-34-year-old David Phelps joined the Phillies as an eight-year veteran that began his career under Joe Girardi with the New York Yankees from 2012-14; the right-hander then appeared for the Miami Marlins (2015-17), Seattle Mariners (2017), Toronto Blue Jays (2019), Chicago Cubs (2019), and Milwaukee Brewers (2020) — where the Phillies acquired him ahead of the August 2020 trade deadline for minor-leaguers Brandon Ramey, Juan Geraldo and Israel Puello.
Upon Phelps joining the Phillies, Girardi called him a “fantastic competitor.” Phelps had been in the midst of one of his best seasons to date, posting a 2.77 ERA through 12 appearances, including three games finished, as a Brewer. Also, the St. Louis, Missouri, native struck out 20 of his 48 batters faced, while walking just two, and had the lowest average exit velocity allowed among all qualified pitchers at the time.
Phelps’ 2020 success did not carry over in red pinstripes, as he posted a 12.91 ERA in 10 appearances. Of his 37 batters faced while donning a Phillies uniform, Phelps yielded 12 hits, 11 runs (all earned runs), five home runs, and three walks spanning 7 2/3 innings pitched.
The Phillies have a $4.5 million club option on Phelps, with a $250,000 buyout); MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki suggests that the Phillies “probably should” take the buyout. Phelps only commanded $2.5 million and $1.5 million deals previously in free agency, and Zolecki says it is “hard to imagine” that he will receive $4.5 million from another team in this market.