Phillies

Phillies trade Joaquin Benoit and cash to Pirates at deadline

Phillies trade Joaquin Benoit and cash to Pirates at deadline

The Phillies made one final move just before Monday's 4 p.m. trade deadline, trading right-handed reliever Joaquin Benoit and cash to the Pirates for 23-year-old pitcher Seth McGarry.

Benoit, 40, signed with the Phillies as a free agent in the winter. He posted a 4.07 ERA in 42 innings with 43 strikeouts and 16 walks. The production was underwhelming, but Benoit still had some trade value because of his lengthy track record of success.

"Joaquin was a very steadying influence in our whole bullpen," GM Matt Klentak said. "Last offseason, when we were looking to add to our bullpen, we targeted Joaquin from the very beginning, knowing this guy had a track record of consistency and that's exactly what he delivered this year. We're all very appreciative for what he brought to us this year. Now we turn the page and for the last two months of the year, we get to see a lot more young players play. Those young players have been really playing well for the last couple of weeks, as evidenced by the sweep here (of the Braves)."

The veteran reliever has been used in a bevy of roles for the Phillies. Benoit began the season as the setup man before moving into the closer's role and then back into a setup role. He also has pitched in the sixth and seventh innings. After his worst outing of the season against the Mariners on May 10, Benoit complained about the lack of roles in the Phillies' bullpen.

Benoit is the fourth player Klentak traded in the last week (see deadline review). The Phillies traded Pat Neshek to Colorado last Wednesday and Howie Kendrick to the Nationals and Jeremy Hellickson to the Orioles last Friday night.

McGarry, a 2015 eighth-round draft pick by Pittsburgh, has a 1.34 ERA and 0.84 WHIP in 40 1/3 innings this season pitching for the Pirates' Single A affiliate, the Bradenton Marauders.

"Seth McGarry was pitching in High A this year. He's having a really good year and one of the things we're really excited about is he has a 73 percent groundball rate," Klentak said. "So I think he's a guy that will fit in very well in our system. He's another player that does not need to be protected in the Rule 5 draft this year, which is a positive for us.

"We're excited about the return in all four of these trades. I think we added some pretty good arms and a good infielder, and you guys got to see (Hyun Soo) Kim's approach at the plate today. He's got a pretty good, patient approach up there. But any chance we get to add depth in the pitching department into our system, we're going to look to do that. ... This is part of something that successful organizations do, they continue to replenish their system and they look for opportunities to add talent and that's what we've done here over the last week."

Klentak did not close the door on any August trades, but it seems unlikely the Phillies make any other moves aside from perhaps trading Daniel Nava. Trades are more complicated in August — a team can only shop a player to the whole league if that player first clears waivers. Guys like Tommy Joseph, Cesar Hernandez, Freddy Galvis and Cameron Rupp would be unlikely to clear waivers because they're relatively young and inexpensive. If a player gets claimed in August, he can only be traded to that team, which would greatly limit the Phillies' leverage.

CSNPhilly.com's Tom Dougherty contributed to this story.

Gabe Kapler names Jim Gott Phillies' bullpen coach

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Gabe Kapler names Jim Gott Phillies' bullpen coach

Gabe Kapler on Friday added to his coaching staff by naming Jim Gott the Phillies' bullpen coach.

Gott was the minor-league pitching coordinator for the Angels the last five seasons and the pitching coach for the Arizona League Angels the three years prior to that role.

He played for the Blue Jays, Giants, Pirates and Dodgers over 14 major-league seasons as a starter and reliever. Gott, now 58 years old, compiled a 3.87 ERA while making 96 starts and converting 91 saves.

Kapler and the Phillies still need to name a pitching coach and first-base coach. Last week, they named Dusty Wathan third-base coach and hired John Mallee as hitting coach, while retaining Rick Kranitz, who was the assistant pitching coach last season (see story). He could fill the main pitching coach vacancy, although his role is currently to be determined.

In 2017, Bob McClure served the Phillies as pitching coach and Mickey Morandini was first-base coach.

MLB Notes: Astros' Jose Altuve, Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton claim MVP awards

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USA Today Images

MLB Notes: Astros' Jose Altuve, Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton claim MVP awards

Houston Astros dynamo Jose Altuve has won the American League MVP award, towering over New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge by a wide margin.

The 5-foot-6 Altuve drew 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Altuve batted a major league-best .346. He hit 24 home runs with 81 RBIs, scored 112 times, stole 32 bases and showed a sharp glove at second base.

The 6-foot-7 Judge won the AL Rookie of the Year award Monday. He set a rookie record with 52 home runs.

Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians finished third. The award was announced Thursday.

Altuve helped lead the Astros to their first World Series championship. Voting for these honors was completed before the postseason began.

Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton won the NL MVP award, barely edging Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds.

In the closest MVP vote since 1979, Stanton became only the sixth player to win from a losing team. Stanton led the big leagues with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs (see full story).

MLB: Manfred says pace changes will happen with or without union
Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.

There are ongoing talks for a new posting system with Japan to replace the deal that expired Nov. 1, one that would allow star Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani to leave the Pacific League's Nippon Ham Fighters to sign with a big league team (see full story).

Mariners: Team makes trade, raises available money for Japan's Otani​
The Seattle Mariners have gained more flexibility if they want to try to sign star Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani.

They acquired an additional $500,000 for their international signing bonus pool from the Chicago White Sox in a trade for Brazilian right-hander Thyago Vieira.

Otani, a 23-year-old right-hander, would be limited to a minor league contract with a signing bonus under Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement. The trade announced Thursday increases the Mariners' available money for a signing bonus to $1,557,500. Seattle has spent $3,942,500 on bonuses in the signing year that started July 2 from a pool that rose to $5.5 million with the trade.

The 24-year-old Vieira made his major league debut with a scoreless inning against Baltimore on Aug. 14, his only big league appearance. He was 2-3 with two saves and a 3.72 ERA in 29 games this year for Double-A Arkansas and 0-1 with two saves and a 4.58 ERA in 12 games for Triple-A Tacoma.

Chicago is restricted to a maximum $300,000 signing bonus because it exceeded its pool in a previous year under the old labor contract.