Phillies sign veteran lefty, 2013 All-Star Matt Moore

Matt Moore #55, formerly of the Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Matt Moore #55, formerly of the Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

As spring training nears, the Philadelphia Phillies would not only like to address their starting shortstop position for the 2021 season, but also add pitching depth to complement their slew of offseason additions that include relievers Archie Bradley, Jose Alvarado, and Sam Coonrod, among others.

According to a Friday morning report from NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury, the club is showing interest in a 10-year veteran left-hander, in particular, who pitched this past season overseas in Japan for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks — Matt Moore.

UPDATE, 10:30 a.m.: The Phillies have signed Matt Moore to a major league deal, pending a physical. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports the contract is 1-year, $3 million with performance bonuses.

Matt Moore finished ninth in the American League Cy Young Award race in 2013.

Named an American League All-Star in 2013 — a season in which he went 17-4 with a 3.29 ERA, 1.297 WHIP, and 143-76 strikeouts-to-walks ratio spanning 27 starts and 150 1/3 innings, Moore last pitched in Major League Baseball for the Detroit Tigers in 2019. However, he appeared in only two starts that year after undergoing season-ending surgery on his right knee, early on in the season.

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays drafted Moore in the eighth round of the 2007 draft. He made his big-league debut four years later at age 22. Through his first three seasons, Moore posted a combined 29-15 record and 3.55 ERA across 61 appearances and 59 starts with the Rays. In 120 appearances and 92 starts since then, however, Moore has gone just 25-41 with a 5.08 ERA.

The Fort Walton Beach, Florida, native rebounded this past season in Japan, posting a 2.65 ERA and 98-26 strikeouts-to-walks ratio spanning 85 innings.

Along with the Rays (2011-16), Tigers (2019) and Softbank Hawks (2020), Moore has also pitched for the San Francisco Giants (2016-17) and Texas Rangers (2018).

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Matt Moore will either start or be among the Phillies bullpen in 2021.

With the reported signing of Moore, the Phillies are taking a chance that the 31-year-old’s success will translate back into the majors in red pinstripes this coming season. Given Moore will make $3 million, it is a low-risk, potential high-reward signing.

Phillies pitchers and catchers are scheduled to hold their first workout in Clearwater on February 17. Moore will get to work in competing for a spot in the rotation to complement Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, and Zach Eflin.

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