Whitehead, a pitcher not particularly close to the Phillies’ top 25 prospects, posted a 9-11 record with a 4.44 ERA and a .291 batting average against for the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers last season.
The addition of Morton likely locks him into a rotation spot as the team’s veteran, although he isn’t a workhorse, having never thrown 30 or more starts in a season and making more than 26 starts in a year only one time.
Morton will join newly acquired pitcher Jeremy Hellickson as the only locks to be Phils starters. Rookies Aaron Nola (the Phils’ 1st round pick from 2014 could also have a rotation spot clinched), Alec Asher, Jerad Eickhoff, Adam Morgan as well as some names from the Kenny Giles swap with Houston who will all work toward earning places in the starting rotation.
Firm details on that reported swap of Giles were announced on Saturday as well. The deal also sends 17-year-old shortstop Jonathan Arauz to the Astros. He is a solid-hitting youngster that is expendable to the Phils based on the organization’s depth at the position.
The trade also now includes the top overall selection from the 2013 draft, Mark Appel coming to the Phillies as well as pitcher Harold Arauz. Others that were included in previous reports (Vincent Velasquez, Brett Oberholtzer and Thomas Eshelman) are still on their way to the Phils.
Appel pitched in 25 combined games at Double-A and Triple-A last year. The 24-year-old tallied a 10-3 record with a 4.37 ERA and a 7.5 K/9 in 2015. He is thought by some to already be a bust, based on his production compared to his draft position, which was 1st overall in 2013.
Harold Arauz, 20, is a native of Panama that sported a 0-5 record with a 5.75 ERA and a 9.1 K/9 mark in 15 games, mainly as a starter, in the Class A short season New York-Penn League last season.
Giles originally signed with the Phillies after they made him their 7th round draft selection in 2011. He became the team’s closer this summer following the trade of All-Star Jonathan Papelbon to Washingt
To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the Phils designated reliever Dan Otero.