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Phillies showing interest in Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly

With the MLB trade deadline less than a week away, the Phillies continue to hone in on potential acquisitions. With a need for pitching in the middle of the rotation, the Phillies have reportedly shown interest in Arizona Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly.

The Phillies are reportedly interested in Merrill Kelly. (Barry Stahl)

Per Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Phillies are “among the teams in hot pursuit.”

Kelly could slot into the Phillies rotation as a No. 4 starter. He has a 4.46 ERA and 3.88 FIP in 20 starts with Arizona this season. Much of his value lies in his ability to pitch deeper in games. He has thrown at least five innings in all but two of his starts this season. Vince Velasquez, Matt Moore and Chase Anderson have combined to pitch at least five innings in a start 14 times.

The 32-year-old Kelly also has one of the more interesting career arcs in the game. He was drafted in the eighth round by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010, spent four years in their minor league system and was released before making it to the big league club. He spent the next four years in South Korea with the SK Wyverns of the KBO and was signed by the Diamondbacks to a two-year contract in 2018.

He has a $5.25 million club option with no buyout for 2022.

Kelly’s next scheduled start is Saturday against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. They will surely have scouts in attendance as the Phillies have also been connected to names such as Kris Bryant (via The Athletic), Craig Kimbrel, Andrew Chafin and Ryan Tepera (via Jon Heyman).


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