The MLB Trade Deadline has come and gone, and despite all the crazy rumors, Matt Klentak and the rest of the Phillies front office were hauntingly quiet. The 2019 Phillies have been a rollercoaster of emotions for fans everywhere, after an exceptional offseason and a blazing hot start to the regular season, many called them World Series contenders early on. Some truly horrific pitching and a few injuries later, and the Phils are barely hanging on to a Wild Card spot. Given that, many felt they would be hyper-aggressive this deadline, they were not. Although we didn’t get an Ace or a monster bat this week, a few moves were in fact made and I’m here to break them down.
Jason Vargas: Pitcher via the New York Mets
— Philly Sports Insider (@phillyinsider99) July 29, 2019
Never in a million years could I have imagined Jason Vargas would be a Phillie in 2019, yet here we are. The trade season kicked off for the Phils a few days before the deadline as Klentak pulled the trigger on 36 year old lefty Jason Vargas. Overall a really strange move, not only was he traded from a division rival, but he was essentially given to us for free. Seeing as the Mets just acquired Marcus Stroman, I guess they felt they just didn’t need another pitcher? Who knows. Regardless, Vargas does in fact “stink” as I said in my tweet. He’s been the embodiment of mediocrity with a 4.26 career ERA and a fastball that tops out at 84 MPH these days. However, the sad part is he’s probably the 2nd/3rd best pitcher on this team. His experience and overall consistency might actually help us out a bit.
The Phillies traded 26 year old AA Catcher Austin Bossart (who cares) to the Mets while New York sent back Vargas and $2.9 million worth of cash considerations. Vargas’ contract includes a team option for 2020 with a $2.0 million buyout. Essentially if he sucks this year the Phils can buy him out for free at the end of the season.
Vargas made his debut for the Phils on Friday, August 2nd. He went a respectable 6.1 innings, allowing just 2 runs and striking out 5. He received a no-decision in the outing.
Corey Dickerson: Left Fielder via the Pittsburgh Pirates
“This is a win for Klentak whether you like him or not”
Those were the exact words I tweeted when I saw the details of the Corey Dickerson trade. We fleeced the Pirates on this one, an absolute steal in every regard. Dickerson is a 30 year old outfielder who’s been in the major leagues for 7 years now, spending time with the Rockies, Rays, and Pirates. Corey was an All-Star in 2017, a Golden Glove winner in 2018, and since arriving in Pittsburgh at the start of last season, has batted .303 with an .829 OPS. Dickerson missed the start of the 2019 campaign with a shoulder injury, but since returning he’s batted .315 with 4 home runs, 25 RBIs, and a ridiculous .924 OPS.
Dickerson is an instant upgrade to the Phils’ lineup both offensively and defensively. He could easily slot into left field as an everyday starter, handle leadoff with his high batting average, bat 5th or 6th with his lefty pop, or even be an elite go-to option off the bench. One unique talking point on Dickerson is his effectiveness against right-handed pitchers, seeing as he has the 4th best batting average against righties in the entire MLB since 2018 (.303).
The Phillies sent over international signing money and a player to be named later in the trade and “DFA”d Dylan Cozens to make space. Corey Dickerson is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Corey is 4/12 in 4 games with the Phillies so far. He had 3 RBIs and a homerun in his first start for Philadelphia against the White Sox (August 4th), and then homered again from the leadoff spot in his second start against the Dbacks.
— Strand Sport Stats (@StrandStats) August 4, 2019
Blake Parker: Relief Pitcher via the Minnesota Twins
Another move that didn’t necessarily occur on “Deadline Day”, yet still worth mentioning. The Phillies took yet another stab on an outcasted pitcher Tuesday (July 30th) in former Minnesota Twins closer Blake Parker. The righty was designated for assignment by the Twins after a very poor performance against the Yankees on July 23rd, allowing 4 runs in just a third of an inning. Despite that awful outing against the Yanks, Parker has shown flashes of brilliance this season. He posted a 0.00 ERA in the entire month of April and a 3.00 ERA in the month of May, accumulating 8 saves in the process. However after a rough June and July, Blake has in fact seen his 2019 ERA rise to 4.10.
Parker has made quite a pathetic debut so far. He’s pitched 5 innings, allowing 6 hits and a whopping 4 runs, while striking out 8. Another “low-risk potential high-reward” type of move from the Phillies that initially appears to be backfiring.
Dan Straily: Pitcher via the Baltimore Orioles
This move felt like a complete slap in the face. It’s no big secret that the Phillies desperately needed some starting pitching help at the deadline, yet instead of going and snagging someone cheap (Tanner Roark for example), Klentak went and picked up a 30 year old with a 9.82 ERA. Dan has never been any good, he currently rocks a career 4.56 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. He’s bounced from team to team without finding any sort of consistency/stability. In 2019, he’s been used in both the bullpen and starting rotation, and hasn’t appeared for the Orioles since June 18.
Klentak stated Straily will be sent straight to AAA for the moment. The Phillies traded the infamous “cash considerations” to the Orioles for Dan.
David Robertson (Injury)
Not a trade or signing, but easily more impactful. Superstar reliever David Roberston is officially done for the season. After lasting just 6.2 innings in 2019, DRob will potentially need two different surgeries to repair damage in his elbow. This one stings, Robertson was supposed to be massive piece to our bullpen. With a career 2.90 ERA, tons of playoff experience, and a reputation for being one of the most reliable relievers in the MLB, it’s truly just bad luck his time in Philadelphia isn’t going to work out.
Seeing as David is 34 years old and his surgery(s) could rule him out for all of 2020, this could very likely end his MLB career.
— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) July 31, 2019
This was obviously a very underwhelming Trade Deadline for our Philadelphia Phillies. However we shouldn’t be TOO mad, at the end of the day we didn’t lose any top prospects and still acquired some talent. Guys like Parker and Dickerson could very well be the next Jay Bruce/Smyly combo. Providing some much needed juice to our struggling ballclub. After all, there’s still a whole lotta baseball left folks.
-David Esser via Philly Sports Insider
~image taken from nbcsports.com~