Phillies sign another first-round pick, invite former All-Star and two others to camp

The Phillies announced the official signing of three players on Monday: former All-Star outfielder David Dahl and right-handers Austin Brice and Ricardo Pinto.
David Dahl signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday
David Dahl signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday / Stephen Brashear/GettyImages

One of the criticisms the Philadelphia Phillies front office faced over the weeks leading up to training camp was the lack of outfield depth. While they were loading up on plenty of pitching, the outfield seemed to be pushed to the backburners.

But within a matter of days, the once thin outfield depth has received a sudden influx of reinforcements — at the major league level from the Whit Merrifield signing, followed quickly by another, much less heralded signing of David Dahl.

Dahl, who agreed to a minor league deal with the Phillies on Friday, first reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post, brings added depth to an outfield that could either excel or be an ongoing problem this season. The former first-round, 10th overall pick of the Colorado Rockies in 2012 will get yet another chance to rekindle a once-promising career.

The Phillies confirmed the signing, which includes an invitation to major league camp, on Monday morning.

The left-handed hitting Dahl was once ranked as the Rockies No. 1 prospect in 2013, and the No. 3 prospect in subsequent years leading up to his MLB debut.

The now 29-year-old debuted in 2016 at 22, and put up an impressive .315/.359/.500 slash line with seven home runs, five stolen bases, and 24 RBI in 63 games with the Rockies. From 2018 to 2019, he hit .291 with an .870 OPS, 31 home runs, and 109 RBI in 177 games, earning an All-Star nod in 2019. He struggled to a .183/.222/.247 slash line in the shortened 2020 campaign before heading to the Texas Rangers as a free agent.

After 63 games with the Rangers in 2021, he appeared in four contests with the San Diego Padres at the beginning of last season before hitting the IL with a quadriceps strain and eventually being released.

Injuries have been a big part of Dahl's stunted progress in the majors. He missed all of 2017 with a stress reaction in his ribcage and has battled various other maladies over the years with a foot fracture (2018), abdominal strain (2019), ankle sprain (2019), back problems (2020), shoulder strain (2020), and a bruised ribcage (2021).

The Phillies are hoping he can stay healthy and figure something out in Triple-A this season to provide the organization with some extra insurance in the outfield.

Phillies sign two more right-handed pitchers

The Phillies also announced the signing of right-handers Austin Brice and Ricardo Pinto to minor league deals with invites to spring training.

Brice, a former ninth-round draft pick of the Miami Marlins in 2010, has spent time in the majors with the Marlins (2016, 2019), Cincinnati Reds (2017-2018), Boston Red Sox (2020-2021), and Pittsburgh Pirates (2022). He spent last season pitching in Triple-A with the Minnesota Twins and Arizona Diamondbacks.

In 144 MLB appearances, with one start, the 31-year-old has a 5.12 ERA, a 1.30 WHIP, and a 5.06 FIP with 8.54 K/9 and 3.53 BB/9 in 168 2/3 innings.

Ricardo Pinto originally signed with the Phillies as an international free agent in 2011, and appeared in 25 MLB games for the team in 2017, with a 7.89 ERA in 29 2/3 innings. The native of Venezuela spent time in the Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays organizations before heading overseas to the KBO in 2020. He returned to North America in 2021, spending two seasons in the Detroit Tigers minors leagues.

The 30-year-old spent 2023 pitching in Mexico and Venezuela, and was recently named MVP of the Caribbean Series finals after leading Venezuela to a championship with a 0.84 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings over two starts.