The Phillies are in talks to sign free-agent starting pitcher Drew Smyly, according to a source.
Smyly became a free agent on Thursday when he opted out of his minor-league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers.
It is well known that the Phillies are in the market for starting pitching. They have spoken to the Texas Rangers about Mike Minor, the Detroit Tigers about Matthew Boyd and the San Francisco Giants about Madison Bumgarner. They have also investigated the possibility of trading for Zack Greinke, Arizona’s high-priced right-hander.
In addition to inquiring about and gauging what it would take to get a top starter — the price is high and the Phils don't want to give up the multiples of top prospects that other clubs are asking for — the Phils have also considered marginal upgrades like Andrew Cashner, who was traded from Baltimore to Boston, and Homer Bailey, who went from Kansas City to Oakland.
Smyly, 30, would be a potential marginal upgrade for the Phillies. Signing him could also help the bullpen as it might allow the Phils to put Vince Velasquez back in the bullpen, where he showed some flashes of brilliance earlier this season.
Smyly went 31-27 with a 3.74 ERA in 156 games (85 starts) for Detroit and Tampa Bay from 2012 to 2016. He did not pitch in the majors in 2017 or 2018 as he recovered from Tommy John surgery, and pitched poorly with Texas earlier this season — 8.42 ERA, 1.909 WHIP and a 50.6 hard-contact rate in 51 1/3 innings — and was released in late June. Milwaukee signed him in early July as potential depth. He allowed seven runs in 12 2/3 innings over three starts at Triple A before opting out of his deal Thursday.
For a Phillies team desperate for starting pitching, Smyly is at least worth a look. Stay tuned.
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