Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Tuesday morning that the Phillies, along with the Blue Jays, are in talks to acquire Pirates reliever Richard Rodríguez. Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia shortly confirmed the report and added that Phillies Triple-A catcher Rafael Marchan has been included in the discussions.
Rodríguez, 31, has a 2.82 ERA in 37 appearances with Pittsburgh this season. He’s a fly ball pitcher whose strikeout numbers are down from last season. While he has been one of the steadiest relievers in the game this year, Rodríguez’s average spin rate on his slider and fastball have been down significantly since the start of MLB’s foreign substances crackdown in June. He has a 5.40 ERA in 10 outings since June 22, but seven of those ten outing were scoreless.
Marchan, 22, is currently on the Phillies’ 40-man roster as the de facto third catcher. He’s batting .200 with a .500 OPS in 135 at-bats with Lehigh Valley. He’s a superb defender behind the plate who is known for his blocking skills, receiving abilities and solid arm. The Venezuelan-born catcher has done well filling in as a backup when one of either Andrew Knapp or J.T. Realmuto landed on the injured list. His lone professional home run came against the Blue Jays late in September of last season. Phillies Nation ranked Marchan as the No. 5 Phillies prospect in the most recent rankings.
It’s unclear if the Phillies are discussing a Rodríguez-Marchan one-for-one deal, but the Pirates are also looking to trade another potential Phillies target as early as Tuesday. 31-year-old left-handed starter Tyler Anderson is scheduled to pitch against the Brewers. The Mets have shown interest in him, according to Jon Heyman. His profile does fit the Phillies’ needs as he has thrown at least five innings in all 18 of his start this season. The Phillies desperately need an innings eater in the rotation and Anderson would fit that mold.
The Phillies also need more sure options at the back end of the bullpen, so it’s no surprise that Dave Dombrowski and the front office have their eyes on Rodríguez.
Update 3:13 pm: Alex Stumpf of DK Pittsburgh Sports had this to say about the Rodríguez-Marchan report:
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