3. Jordan Hicks
Relief Pitcher Jordan Hicks was traded from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Toronto Blue Jays at the trade deadline for prospects Sem Robberse and Adam Kloffenstein.
Hicks has been extremely productive in 2023 and is on an expiring contract that owes him just $1.84 million. In 43 appearances this season, Hicks has a 3.80 ERA and 1.489 WHIP. Hicks is known for his high velocity pitches. He's thrown the most pitches over 100 MPH this season out of anyone in the league.
Advanced stats favor Hicks and have him ranked as a top reliever in baseball in 2023. His fastball velocity is in the 100th percentile, barrel % is in the 95th percentile, and xSLG is in the 98th percentile.
Philadelphia could have used Hicks in the back end of the bullpen to make one of the best bullpens even better. By acquiring Lorenzen at the deadline, the Phillies will move to a six man starting rotation which takes one man out of the bullpen. As a result, Andrew Vazquez was designated for assignment.
Rather than sticking with the five man rotation and bolstering the bullpen with the acquisition of a player of Hicks' caliber, the Phillies actually made their bullpen weaker. Philadelphia does have a top ten bullpen in MLB based on ERA. However, if the 2022 World Series run proved anything, it showed that most of the time, the team with the best bullpen will win the series. Additionally, we learned that you truly can never have enough bullpen arms once a team enters October.
Hicks would have been an amazing addition to what the Phillies have already built in the bullpen.
Overall, the Phillies did improve slightly at the trade deadline. While they could have made more moves to improve the roster, the team is in a good position with two months of the regular season to play.