Phillies rumor: Club ‘in contact’ with starter Jake Odorizzi

Jake Odorizzi #12, formerly of the Minnesota Twins (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Jake Odorizzi #12, formerly of the Minnesota Twins (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Even after signing Matt Moore and Chase Anderson, Philadelphia Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski may not be done just yet to adding starting rotation depth. They are reportedly interested in nine-year veteran RHP Jake Odorizzi.

‘Playing to win,’ the Phillies are reportedly interested in RHP Jake Odorizzi.

“I’ve heard the Phillies are in contact with Odorizzi,” Jon Heyman said Wednesday morning on MLB Network. “Obviously, they have Dave Dombrowski. He has done a great job already. You get him, you are playing to win. So, they are clearly playing to win.”

“My understanding is now, they are in touch with Jake Odorizzi and that is a possibility,” Heyman continued. “The other team I have heard, potentially, is his hometown Cardinals. We shall see, but I do think the Phillies are a possibility at this point.”

Odorizzi, who will turn 31 next month, would provide valuable durability to the Phillies rotation as pitchers adjust from a 60- to 162-game schedule. He made at least 28 starts in six straight seasons from 2014-19.

Odorizzi was drafted in the first round of the 2008 draft out of high school. Four years later, he went on to debut for the Kansas City Royals. In 2014, still considered a rookie, the right-hander finished eighth in the Rookie of the Year Award race while pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays. Through 31 starts, he went 11-13 with a 4.13 ERA, 1.280 WHIP, and 174-59 strikeouts-to-walks ratio spanning 168 innings.

Odorizzi’s best season came in 2019 with the Minnesota Twins, the season in which he earned his first and only career All-Star appearance. Starting in 30 games, he went 15-7 with a 3.51 ERA, 1.208 WHIP, and 178-53 strikeouts-to-walks ratio across 159 innings. That season, he was named an AL Player of the Week in early May, as well as recorded the eighth-most wins in the American League (15).

Spanning 195 career appearances and 192 starts while playing for the Royals (2012), Rays (2013-17), and Twins (2018-20), Odorizzi has gone 62-56 with a sub-4.00 ERA and 2.78 strikeouts-to-walks ratio. He recorded a 6.59 ERA in 2020, limited to just four starts due to three injured list stints amid the shortened season.

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Earlier this offseason, the Illinois native was reportedly seeking a three-year contract worth around $45 million. As spring training is underway and the regular season nears, it is likely the free-agent’s asking price has lowered.

The Cardinals, Twins, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox, and Toronto Blue Jays reportedly have been teams interested in Odorizzi. The Phillies are the latest to join the mix.

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