The busy off-season for the Phillies continues. Trea Turner, Craig Kimbrel, and Taijuan Walker, are among the names who have joined the Phillies this offseason. But Dave Dombrowski was not done there. With pitchers and catchers due to report in a little over a month, he has gone out and acquired yet another bullpen arm. The Phillies completed a 5 player trade with the Detroit Tigers, and the big name coming back is their closer Gregory Soto, alongside infielder Kody Clemens. Nick Maton, Matt Vierling, and catching prospect Donny Sands head back to Detroit in the deal.
Source: #Tigers are close to acquiring Nick Maton, Matt Vierling, and Donny Sands from the #Phillies.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 7, 2023
Gregory Soto and Kody Clemens would go to Philadelphia if finalized.
Credit to @JSalisburyNBCS for being first to report the trade discussions today.@MLBNetwork @MLB
Gregory Soto will be entering his 5th season in the MLB. He spent the last two as the Tigers’ closer, racking up 50 saves. His career ERA is 4.13, but that is inflated by his rookie year, where he spent some time as a starter. He has a sub-3.5 ERA in each of his last two seasons, along with 136 strikeouts across 124 innings. Soto made the All-Star team in both seasons.
Kody Clemens’ career to this point has been less prolific. Last season was his rookie year, but he did not make much of an impact hitting just .145 with 5 home runs across 177 at-bats. But the lefty has some intriguing power tools and could develop into a solid backup infielder, spending time at 1st, 2nd, and 3rd last year. The interesting thing about him though is that he is the son of Roger Clemens.
Vierling and Maton head back to Detroit in the deal. Both have been solid role players for the Phillies over the years. But ideally neither would get much playing time come playoff time. The pair combined for just 14 at-bats in the playoffs last year. The Phillies managed to acquire an All-Star closer without giving up a single major prospect or starting caliber player.
Their bullpen now features Soto, Jose Alvardo, SerAnthony Dominguez, Craig Kimbrel, Matt Strahm, Connor Brogdon, and Andrew Bellatti. Bullpens can be tricky to put together. Guys can go from All-Stars to shaky in one season. The best you can do is acquire as many talented arms as you can and hope most of them pan out. And that is certainly what the Phillies have done. They now have 5 guys who have experience closing games. And as we saw in the World Series, Brogdon can be pretty good as well. What has often been an area of weakness for the Phillies, could now be a strength.