Phillies: GM’s double-barreled trades and signings

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Flamethrower Pazos will have the advantage by changing leagues. Photo by R. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

For four consecutive seasons, the twofold strategy of Phillies general manager Matt Klentak has involved rotation and bullpen pieces through swaps and free agency.


Doubled-up approach:

Klentak’s offseason pattern for the Philadelphia Phillies has been to acquire two of each: starters, setup men or left-handed relievers. Additionally, when it comes to moundsmen, the exec revealed two years ago his expectation: He needs one hurler to be effective and healthy.


“There is no fool like a careless gambler who starts taking victory for granted.” – Hunter S. Thompson

Constructing a roster is the equation’s first half, but performance and health determine the GM’s skill and good fortune. Of course, writers and fans should judge and base the results on the organization’s state when spring training begins.

Unfortunately, many locals harbor an improbable reality because players suffer injuries and have off years. And, yes, even stars must stick to a strict regimen during the winter, or they’ll pay the price in the next campaign. For instance, 2008 had produced demands on Cole Hamels‘ offseason time and affected his 2009.

In New York –believe it or not– some Yankees supporters blame the exec when he doesn’t have a backup plan for an injured important player. But management would need more than a 40-man roster to handle every eventuality, and who could replace a star cleanup hitter? Yeah, mission impossible!

As for Klentak, he believes in pitching alternatives because he has stated anticipating only one of the two hurlers will be productive for six months. And his thinking has merit. So each campaign, he has repeated this twofold method, and 2019 is no exception.

To illustrate, Klentak added Jeremy Hellickson from the Arizona Diamondbacks and Charlie Morton from the Pittsburgh Pirates for 2016 through salary dumps. And the following season, the decision-maker re-upped Hellickson with a qualifying offer before acquiring Clay Buchholz from the Boston Red Sox.

For 2018, Klentak inked Pat Neshek and Tommy Hunter through free agency, but he only needed one to bolster the back end of the pen. Regarding ’19, the GM has dealt for two southpaw relievers: James Pazos from the Seattle Mariners and Jose Alvarez from the Los Angeles Angels.

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