3. Key offseason trades
Matt Vierling, Nick Maton, Donny Sands to the Detroit Tigers for Gregory Soto and Kody Clemens
The key return from this trade is focussed on the centerpiece in Tigers’ electric closer Gregory Soto. Armed with a fastball that could constantly hit close to triple-digits, the Phillies were hoping to add to their already strong firepower in the backend of their bullpen. However, compared to his fellow bullpen teammates, Soto has struggled with some inconsistency so far in 2023, with a 2-4 record, 4.32 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, giving up 16 earned runs, 14 walks and 37 strikeouts in 33.1 innings pitched. Kody Clemens has gotten some big league playing time this year as a result of Rhys Hoskins’ injury earlier in Spring Training, but has struggled in providing any solid production for the ballclub. Together with the Phillies’ intent to move Bryce Harper to first base following the All-Star break, Clemens was no longer guaranteed a roster spot and was subsequently sent down to Triple-A on July 2nd.
Matt Vierling has had a solid season so far for the Tigers, whereas Nick Maton and Donny Sands have mainly struggled, whether in the majors or minors. Vierling has hit .280 with a .763 OPS, with 27 runs scored, seven home runs, 24 RBI, and five stolen bases and has fit in seamlessly to help complement the Tigers’ overall offensive lineup.
Erik Miller to the San Francisco Giants for Yunior Marté
This minor trade transaction may come back to bite the Phillies in the long run, as Yunior Marté has mainly struggled for the bulk of the year, sporting a 5.32 ERA and 1.48 WHIP, whereas Erik Miller has produced a strong season thus far in the Giants’ minor league system, with the chance to be eventually promoted later this year to the big leagues. For now if Miller stays in the minors, the trade is somewhat a wash between the two teams. For Phillies’ sake, they surely hope Marté can pick up his game in the second half to make the trade much more worthwhile.
Soto will need to pickup his game in the second half of the season, or else the trade will turn out even worse for the Phillies. With Vierling doing fine work with the bat so far in 2023 for the Tigers, it could have been the ideal bat the Phillies could have used, along with his versatility to play potentially in all the outfield positions and perhaps even first base. This grade could get worse if Miller turns out to be a hidden gem that helps the Giants down the stretch, in addition to Marté potentially hindering the Phillies as the weakest link in their current bullpen.