Phillies ‘keeping options open’ after Jose Alvarado trade
By Matt Rappa
The Phillies have an open mindset in terms of roster retooling this offseason.
Just a couple of days before the turn of the new year, the Philadelphia Phillies acquired an intriguing left-handed reliever as part of a three-way trade with the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers.
In return for trading fellow southpaw Garrett Cleavinger to the Dodgers, the Phillies received Jose Alvarado, while the Dodgers sent the Rays first-base prospect Dillon Paulson and a player-to-be-named later.
The move marked the first trade made with the Phillies organization by president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, as well as general manager Sam Fuld — in an effort to counting retooling a bullpen that saw an all-time second-worst 7.06 ERA this past season.
When asked by Kevin Frandsen in a recent Pine Tar for Breakfast podcast as to where the Phillies will go next, Fuld said the organization will “keep its options open.”
“It’s hard to say what specifically we’re going to target. We just don’t know,” replied Fuld, who said he believes it is smart to be “nimble.”
“We don’t want to get tunnel vision on a certain type of player, or even a certain type of reliever,” Fuld said. “It’s not like just because we have one lefty that throws 99 that we would turn down another.”
“I think the bullpen will continue to be something we look at.”
The Phillies have been creative this offseason in adding relievers, most of which have come on minor-league deals with spring training invites. Most recently, they signed right-handed veterans Neftali Feliz and Michael Ynoa to such deals. In early December, the Phillies claimed fellow righty Ian Hamilton off waivers from the Seattle Mariners.
While Alvarado, Feliz, Hamilton, and Ynoa are among the external additions already made this offseason, some relievers from the 2020 bullpen are also being brought back. The Phillies re-signed right-handers David Hale and Hector Neris to one-year contracts. Seranthony Dominguez was also re-signed to a one-year deal, however he is expected to miss most of 2021 due to Tommy John surgery.
All signs are pointing in the positive direction that the Phillies acknowledge the bullpen needs a serious makeover. But, the Phils also acknowledge they will not just focus in on one area, and will instead be “nimble” in what moves they make.
Time is ticking fast, as pitchers and catchers are set to report to Clearwater, Florida — marking the start of the 2021 baseball season — just next month.