Phillies pursued Tyler Duffey before acquiring Vinny Nittoli from Blue Jays
The Phillies missed out on signing eight-year veteran RHP Tyler Duffey.
The Philadelphia Phillies recently added a pair of relievers — a 2017 World Series champion and a 2022 Triple-A standout. The latter, Vinny Nittoli, will be added to the team’s major league roster ahead of Wednesday’s 11:59 p.m. deadline for him to be eligible to pitch in the postseason.
But according to 5 Eyewitness News’ Darren Wolfson, Phillies President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski reportedly eyed another bullpen arm before ultimately acquiring Nittoli from the Toronto Blue Jays in a mid-week, minor-league swap — right-hander Tyler Duffey.
Duffey, 31, reportedly signed a minor-league deal with the New York Yankees on Wednesday, a few days after he opted out of his contract with the Texas Rangers. The Phillies reportedly were among three teams interested in the former fifth-round draft pick.
Duffey logged 295 games and 475 innings across parts of the past eight seasons with the Minnesota Twins. Combined, he went 29-27 with a 4.57 ERA, 1.295 WHIP, and 466-137 strikeouts-to-walks ratio.
This season with the Twins specifically, Duffey went 2-4 with a 4.91 ERA, 1.364 WHIP, and 39-15 strikeouts-to-walks ratio in 40 games and 44 innings. He recorded a pair of saves out of five total opportunities.
The Twins designated Duffey for assignment earlier this month. After going unclaimed in waivers, he signed a minor-league deal with the Rangers and had been playing for their Triple-A Round Rock affiliate.
Similar to Nittoli seeking to part ways with the Blue Jays, Duffey simply wanted to join a major-league team in postseason contention. The Yankees currently have a seven-game lead in the American League East, so you can’t blame Duffey for choosing to sign with the American League East juggernaut instead of the struggling Phillies.