After a disastrous 2020 season in which Philadelphia Phillies relievers posted an ERA of 7.06, the team has made an addition in hopes of improving the bullpen.
The Phillies announced Tuesday that they acquired left-handed reliever José Alvarado from the Tampa Bay Rays in a three-team trade that also included the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Phillies sent fellow lefty Garrett Cleavinger to Los Angeles in the deal.
Alvarado, 25, has a career ERA of 3.46 with 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings in 149 appearances with the Rays over four seasons. He’s battled injury each of the last two seasons, but possesses a hard fastball with movement that can overpower hitters when it’s working.
He will be added to the Phillies’ bullpen mix that lacks many reliable options outside of veteran right-hander Héctor Neris. Alvarado is under contract through the next three seasons.
In giving up Cleavinger, the Phillies lose another hard-throwing left-hander with strikeout potential. But Cleavinger is actually a year older than Alvarado, despite only making his major-league debut in 2020. He allowed one run in one appearance as a Phillie.
The Dodgers traded infielder Dillon Paulson and a player to be named later to Tampa Bay as part of the trade.
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