Phillies acquire Jose Alvarado from Rays in 3-way trade

Jose Alvarado #46 of the Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Jose Alvarado #46 of the Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The Phillies have acquired left-handed reliever Jose Alvarado from the Rays.

The Philadelphia Phillies have made their first trade of the offseason under new team president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and general manager Sam Fuld. The team announced Tuesday afternoon that it has acquired hard-throwing left-handed reliever Jose Alvarado from the Tampa Bay Rays as part of a three-way trade, also with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Phillies sent fellow southpaw Garrett Cleavinger to the 2020 World Series champions, who in turn sent minor-league infielder Dillon Paulson and a player to be named later to the Rays.

Alvarado, 25, has pitched in parts of four seasons with the Rays since his May 2017 debut. Totaling 149 career appearances and 132 2/3 innings, the Venezuela native has logged 15 saves, 104 hits allowed, 58 runs (51 earned) allowed, six home runs allowed, and 71 walks allowed, while striking out 161 of his 577 batters faced.

While his career win-loss record (2-15) and WHIP (1.319) are far from appealing, he does have postseason experience. During this year’s ALCS against the Houston Astros, Alvarado pitched two scoreless appearances (1 2/3 innings), striking out four of his nine batters faced. Between the 2017-18 regular seasons, specfically, he posted a 2.79 ERA and 1.110 WHIP across 105 appearances and 93 2/3 innings.

Cleavinger, who will turn 27 in late April, appeared in one mid-September game this past season for his MLB debut. In the lone outing, he yielded a solo home run and struck out a batter spanning 2/3 innings pitched.

The left-hander had a promising 2019 season at the Double-A level, going 3-2 with a 3.66 ERA, 83-34 strikeouts-to-walks ratio, and 1.277 WHIP across 34 appearances, 51 2/3 innings pitched, and seven games finished. The Orioles dealt him, outfielder Hyun Soo Kim, and international bonus slot money to the Phillies in July 2017 in exchange for starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson.

The Rays were forced to make a 40-man roster transaction (parting ways with Alvarado) following their recent blockbuster trade of Blake Snell to the San Diego Padres. The newest Phillies reliever is one of several measures the team is taking this offseason to overhaul a near all-time-worst bullpen in 2020, under then-pitching coach Bryan Price.

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