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.