Matt Strahm becomes the second Phillies left-handed relief pitcher.
It’s a Winter Meetings trifecta for the Philadelphia Phillies and President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski. First, the World Series-winning executive signed star shortstop Trea Turner to an 11-year, $300 million contract — reuniting him with his former Washington Nationals teammate Bryce Harper and hitting coach Kevin Long.
Dombrowski followed by adding right-handed starting pitcher Taijuan Walker to the rotation mix on a four-year, $72 million deal. Just an hour later, a third reported Phillies signing was announced — left-handed reliever Matt Strahm to a two-year, $15 million contract, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Strahm becomes the second Phillies left-handed reliever, joining José Alvarado.
Seemingly three of the club’s biggest offseason question marks — a middle infielder to replace Jean Segura, starting pitcher to replace Zach Eflin and others, and a reliable bullpen arm — all were addressed at the San Diego meetings, which conclude Wednesday with the annual Rule 5 Draft.
As The Athletic’s Matt Gelb notes, Strahm saw a velocity increase last season in his first full year as a reliever. A former 21st-round draft pick, the 31-year-old is a seven-year veteran who went 4-4 with a 3.83 ERA, 1.231 WHIP, and 52-17 strikeouts-to-walks ratio spanning 50 appearances and 44 2/3 innings last season with the Boston Red Sox.
The North Dakota native pitched the previous four seasons with the San Diego Padres, before starting his big-league career in 2016 and 2017 as a member of the Kansas City Royals.
In early October, Strahm expressed interest in re-signing with the Red Sox, telling reporters that there is not a more special place than Boston. Strahm told reporters that he was open to signing as a starting pitcher in free agency, but his 3.11 career ERA (196 2/3 innings) as a reliever — as opposed to his 5.08 career ERA (108 innings) as a starter — suggests he made the right decision to ultimately join the Phillies bullpen.