The Philadelphia Phillies have acquired right-handed pitcher Clay Buchholz from the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday.
In exchange for Buchholz, the Red Sox have received minor league second baseman Josh Tobias. In the trade, the Phillies will be picking up all of Buchholz's remaining salary.
The deal provides Phiadelphia some much-needed rotation depth in the transition period between rebuilding and contention. Buchholz is signed through just 2017, but he should be a nice bridge to the top prospects coming up the pipeline.
And if Buchholz can return to old form, he could provide some major upside in Philadelphia, who may decide to keep him like they did with Jeremy Hellickson over the past calendar year.
The Philadelphia Phillies have extended outfielder Odubel Herrera, they announced on Thursday.
The Phillies and Herrera reached a five-year contract with team options for the 2022 and 2023 seasons, per the announcement. According to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Herrera will make a guaranteed $30.5 million over the course of the deal.
And, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, Herrera's team options will be worth $11.5 and $12.5 million, respectviely.
The Houston Astros announced Wednesday the signing of right-handed starting pitcher Charlie Morton to a two-year deal.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Morton's deal is worth $14 million. Incentives can push the total to $19 million. Morton will earn $625,000 each for making 15, 20, 25 and 30 starts in both 2017 and 2018.
The 33-year-old Morton made just four starts with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2016. He tore his left hamstring on Apr. 23 and was out for the remainder of the season.
Morton could potentially be a serviceable option for Houston in a weak market for starting pitchers. His curveball, in particular, provides upside, and the Astros began to value the curve more as the 2016 season went on. He will slide into the rotation alongside Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh, Mike Fiers and Lance McCullers.
Last year, Morton went 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA and a 19-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 17 1/3 innings pitched.
His last full season was in 2015, while he was with the Pittsburgh Pirates. That year, Morton went 9-9 with a 4.81 ERA and a 96-41 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 129 innings pitched.
For his career, Morton has a 4.54 ERA and a 1.87 K/BB ratio. He has struggled staying on the field, dealing with injuries such as a torn UCL, sports hernia, and hip surgery, among others. In fact, he has not made 30 starts at any season throughout his career.
In his introductory press conference with the Astros, Morton said that he should be ready to go for 2017.
"I'm where I would hope to be and expect to be," he said.
Philadelphia Phillies right-handed starter Jeremy Hellickson and New York Mets second baseman Neil Walker accepted their one-year, $17.2 million qualifying offers on Monday, it was announced.
Hellickson and Walker will forego free agency this offseason and stay with their former clubs through at least the 2017 season.
All eight other players--including Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Turner, Kenley Jansen, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, Mark Trumbo, Ian Desmond, and Dexter Fowler--have declined their respective offers and will become free agents.
These players are free to sign with any team, however, their next club must forfeit their first unprotected draft pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. Their 2016 club, in return for losing the free agent, gains a compensation pick between the 1st- and 2nd-rounds. This is only the case, however, if the player signs somewhere other than their 2016 club.
Hellickson, 29, would have been one of the better free agents in a weak starting pitching class, but decided to accept the QO due to the draft pick concerns. He posted a very solid 12-10 record with a 3.71 ERA and a 154-45 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 189 innings with the Phillies last year. He was worth 3.2 fWAR.
As for Walker, he had season ending back surgery. With this in mind, it's possible that he decided to take the QO to rebuild his value going into next offseason. Despite this, however, he did have a good 2016 campaign, though slightly shortened. In 458 plate appearances, Walker hit for a .282/.347/.476 slash with 23 home runs and 55 RBI. He was worth 3.7 fWAR.
Hellickson and Walker become the fourth and fifth players, respectively, to take the qualifying offer in its short history. The first three (Colby Rasmus, Brett Anderson, Matt Wieters) all took their deals last year.
The qualifying offer systam as a whole has been looked at as an impediment to new free agents and could be scrapped with the Collective Bargaining Agreement set to expire this December.
The Philadelphia Phillies have acquired Howie Kendrick from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, they announced.
In exchange for Kendrick, the Dodgers received second baseman and outfielder Darnell Sweeney as well as first baseman and outfielder Darin Ruf.
Kendrick told the Dodgers that he wanted to be traded because he was not happy with his role, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
Rosenthal mentioned that the Phillies could be a fit due to GM Matt Klentak's familiarity with Kendrick from his time with the Los Angeles Angels.
Kendrick, who played a variety of positions with the Dodgers, is expected to be the Phillies' primary left fielder in 2017. Despite this, however, he will add flexibility at second to a team who is now looking into dealing starting second baseman Cesar Hernandez, according to reports.
It is possible that the Phillies trade Hernandez and move shortstop Freddy Galvis to second, opening a spot for top prospect and former 1st round pick J.P. Crawford in 2017. Regardless, Kendrick will still likely be needed in the infield.
Last year, Kendrick struggled to hit at the same level he did in the past, slashing just .255/.326/.366 with eight home runs and 40 RBI over 543 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, he was worth 0.9 Wins Above Replacement.
Kendrick will be a free agent at the conclusion of the 2017 season.
The 25-year-old Sweeney was a Dodger as recently as 2015. He was dealt to Philadelphia that year for Chase Utley, but apparently fell out of their long-term plans and did not make any appearances at the big league level this past year. In 37 games for his career, Sweeney has hit .176/.286/.353 with three homers and 11 RBI.
Ruf, 30, has bounced back and forth between the minors and majors throughout his career. In 286 MLB games, he holds a .240/.314/.433 line with 35 home runs and 96 RBI. At the very least, he will provide some organizational pop in L.A.