Add trades to the list of things the Phillies can’t close.
And then it wasn’t confirmed, and Anderson was seen throwing in the Pirates bullpen in uniform ahead of their game, though he didn’t make his scheduled start.
While it was rumored that the Mets were trying to snipe him, dangling a more enticing trade package, the news broke late Tuesday night that the Seattle Mariners would be the team to land Anderson.
What stopped the Phillies from acquiring Tyler Anderson?
According to Ken Rosenthal, a medical issue with one of the two prospects (Cristian Hernandez and Abrahan Gutierrez) meant to go to the Pirates, held up the trade.
Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto had a busy day Tuesday, first dealing Kendall Graveman to the Astros, and then swooping in to snag Anderson when the Phillies’ trade talks stalled.
Meanwhile, the Phillies dropped Tuesday night’s game to the Nationals 6-4. Ironically they lost this game the same way they won Monday’s series opener: on a pair of three-run homers. Anderson was meant to be a significant upgrade to the back-end of the Phillies rotation; bare minimum, he has gone five or more innings in every one of his 18 starts this season.
What do the Phillies do now?
No way around it, this is a demoralizing turn of events for the Phillies. On Tuesday afternoon, Anderson was being heralded as the next Joe Blanton. By Tuesday night, he was a Mariner.
There are plenty of starting pitchers still in play, but we can glean a lot from how this trade fell apart. For starters, the Phillies farm system is thin. So thin, in fact, that when an issue arose during the physical of one of the prospect trade pieces, they couldn’t find a suitable replacement to complete the trade.
The collapse of this trade may also impact another rumored deal. The Phillies were considered frontrunners to land Pirates closer Richard Rodriguez, but this debacle may deter Dombrowski from wanting to deal with Pittsburgh.
This is quite an inauspicious first foray into the trade market. The same Phillies who looked so shrewd just hours before are now a laughingstock. Fans on Twitter are calling them “a comically inept organisation” (the spelling is ironic) and saying they should be relegated to the minors. But the general reaction from fans is utterly devoid of shock. They expect their team to flub and fail, and it shows in how little outrage they display over this turn of events; apathy is high and expectations are low.