PHILLIES

Phillies add another pitcher while eyeing free-agent bats

PHILLIES

With big free-agent news popping in many cities, the Phillies continue to approach their offseason to-do list methodically.

No big moves yet for the local nine.

The team, however, did make a small one Monday as it continued to add potential bullpen depth by claiming right-hander Yoan Lopez off waivers from Atlanta.

To make room for Lopez on the 40-man roster, the Phillies designated outfielder Roman Quinn for assignment. The speedy Quinn was the team’s second-round draft pick in 2011. He played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phils but was plagued by a series of injuries, including a season-ending Achilles rupture in May 2021.

Quinn, 28, likely would have been set free by the Phillies later this week when the deadline for offering 2022 contracts to arbitration-eligible players arrived. He is expected to clear waivers and become a free agent. It’s possible he could return to the Phillies on a minor-league contract.

Lopez will turn 29 in January. He appeared in the majors with Arizona each of the last four seasons, including 70 games in 2019. He was traded to Atlanta in May and pitched to a 3.03 ERA in 32 games for the Braves’ Triple A club.

Lopez, who has minor-league options remaining, is the latest in a series of marginal pitching depth additions that the Phillies have made in recent weeks. They added right-handed reliever Nick Nelson in a trade with the Yankees and plucked Ryan Sherriff, Kent Emanuel and Scott Moss, all lefties, off waivers from Tampa Bay, Houston and Cleveland, respectively.

 

In addition to adding to their pitching inventory, the Phils traded for a pair of catchers, Garrett Stubbs and Donny Sands. Stubbs could end up being J.T. Realmuto’s backup in 2022. The added catching depth could also allow the Phillies to use a catching prospect like Rafael Marchan or Logan O’Hoppe in a trade.

There has been significant action on the free-agent front over the last few days as big names like Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, Marcus Semien, Corey Seager and Robbie Ray have reached agreements with new clubs before a potential lockout and transaction freeze arrives late Wednesday night.

The Phillies have yet to make a significant offseason move. They had interest in retaining reliever Hector Neris but he is headed to Houston. The Phils, along with other teams, have pursued free-agent reliever Mychal Givens.

While the bullpen is a big focus for the Phils, they have other holes to fill, particularly in left field and center field. The Phils have particular interest in free agent outfielder Kyle Schwarber, among others. His left-handed power bat would be a good fit for the Phils’ lineup and he has an excellent relationship with Kevin Long, the team’s new hitting coach. Schwarber and Long were together in Washington.

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