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A very good pitcher who shouldn't cost as much as the top free-agent relievers

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The Phillies spent over $700 million on free agents the last three offseasons. Spending all over baseball could be impacted this winter by revenues lost because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that's not going to stop us from taking a daily look these next few weeks at some free agents who would fill needs and help the Phillies get better.

Today: Right-handed reliever Blake Treinen

Career to date

Treinen has been one of the better relievers in baseball since the midpoint of 2017 when he was traded by the Nationals to the Athletics for Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson. That trade worked out well for both teams.

Since then, Treinen has a 2.62 ERA with 223 strikeouts in 202⅔ innings. He's been taken deep just 15 times over that span.

Treinen signed a one-year, $10 million contract with the Dodgers last offseason in hopes of rebounding and reestablishing value after a shaky 2019 season. He accomplished that goal and also won a World Series.

In 2018, Treinen was historically great and placed sixth in Cy Young voting. He broke out that year to go 9-2 with a 0.78 ERA in 80⅓ innings for the A's. He struck out 100 and walked 21.

Treinen is a sinker-slider-cutter who averages 97 mph with the sinker.

2020 season

Treinen did his job as Kenley Jansen's setup man, giving up just one Dodgers lead all season. He had a 3.86 ERA in 27 appearances and allowed one home run.

Treinen's rates of strikeouts and walks were both down, a trade-off he was glad to take after walking 37 batters in 58⅔ innings in 2019.

 

How he’d impact the Phillies

Treinen has better stuff than anyone in the Phillies' bullpen. He can set up or close. If signed, he'd likely appear for this team in its highest-leverage situations.

Contract outlook

In the free-agent pecking order, Treinen is behind closers Liam Hendriks and Brad Hand. He might also be behind Alex Colome, a reliable ninth-inning guy who doesn't miss as many bats as most closers.

But Treinen will still want multiple years after settling for a one-year deal last time. In a normal winter, a three-year contract averaging $8-10 million annually would make sense for Treinen. With finances and spending down across baseball, he may only get two years.

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