Nearly acquired, lefty Tyler Anderson would’ve been the perfect Phillies starter.
With about a week until the 2022 Major League Baseball trade deadline, Philadelphia Phillies are eager to see what moves Dave Dombrowski can make to improve the club for a hopeful postseason run.
Last summer, the World Series-winning executive essentially made just two moves in an attempt to bolster the big-league roster. They acquired right-handers Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy (along with prospect Hans Crouse) from the Texas Rangers, as well as a reunited with infielder Freddy Galvis — acquiring him from the Baltimore Orioles.
But, as things tend to come in threes, Dombrowski was also working on landing left-handed starting pitcher Tyler Anderson from the Pittsburgh Pirates. A deal had been all but agreed upon, however, it reportedly fell apart because one of the two Phillies prospects headed for Pittsburgh had a medical issue. Anderson was instead traded to the Seattle Mariners, before signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers this past offseason.
With Zach Eflin struggling to stay healthy and no return in sight, Anderson would have been the perfect pitcher for a Phillies rotation that has featured Bailey Falter and Cristopher Sánchez probably more times than Dombrowski and interim manager Rob Thomson would like this season.
Following his July 22 home appearance against the San Francisco Giants, Anderson improved to 10-1 with a 2.79 ERA, 87-19 strikeouts-to-walks ratio, and .226/.270/.373 opposing slash across 18 appearances (16 starts) and 103 1/3 innings. The seven-year veteran — who received his first-career All-Star nod earlier this month — has Major League Baseball’s longest scoreless inning streak this season, 28.
Also notable, Anderson recently became the first Dodgers pitcher to top 100 innings pitched in 2022. This durability would have been perfect behind Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola in red pinstripes.
Also, had Dombrowski succeeded in acquiring Anderson last summer, he could have focused this year’s trade deadline on addressing the seemingly never-ending question of who could be the club’s long-term center fielder.
Nevertheless, here we are — the Phillies having many holes and likely not enough prospects to check every need off the list. But who’s to say Dombrowski won’t try?