8 relief pitchers the Phillies should target at the trade deadline

Who should the Philadelphia Phillies deal for to bolster their bullpen at the trade deadline?

San Diego Padres v Toronto Blue Jays, Josh Hader
San Diego Padres v Toronto Blue Jays, Josh Hader / Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/GettyImages
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Kendall Graveman, Chicago White Sox

Kendall Graveman has certainly made a name for himself in the past few years in becoming one of the league’s premium relievers in the process. Originally a Blue Jays draft pick back in 2013, Graveman will always be remembered as being part of the trade package that brought superstar Josh Donaldson to the Toronto Blue Jays. He kicked around the league for the years that followed, until he finally found his groove in 2021 with the Seattle Mariners.

For 2023, Graveman is 3-4 with a 3.00 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, with 19 walks and 41 strikeouts in 42 innings of work with the White Sox. He may just be a tad below Robertson’s tier level, but he has been as consistent as he could be for the past three years. In addition, at the young age of 32, he still has many more productive years left, compared to Robertson who is already 38 and counting. As a result, Graveman would be a good investment, whether it be a short or long term plan for the Phillies.

Paul Sewald, Seattle Mariners

When it comes to Paul Sewald, his name might not be as flashy as some of the elite closers around the league that may be available at the deadline. But Sewald is a seven-year veteran that has been successful as the Seattle Mariners closer for the past three years with his high strikeout ability, something the Phillies tend to value highly in their bullpen.

For 2023, Sewald sports a 3-0 record with 19 saves, together with a 2.95 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, giving up only 13 earned runs, 13 walks and 58 strikeouts in just 39.2 innings pitched. More importantly, his strikeout rate of 13.2 per nine innings is right on pace with Phillies’ own Kimbrel and Alvarado, making him a perfect fit with their core. With the Mariners being part of the daunted AL West, and trailing the Astros, Angels and Rangers that are all fighting for playoff spots, they will most likely be sellers at the trade deadline, in which case the Phillies should swoop in to grab Sewald if possible.