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Phillies acquire 4 players, add 3 others to 40-man roster


Citizens Bank Park has been home to the Phillies since 2004. (Tim Kelly/Phillies Nation)

The Philadelphia Phillies acquired four players Friday, and added another three to their 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft.

LHP Kent Emanuel was claimed off of waivers from the Houston Astros this afternoon.

The 29-year-old posted a 2.55 ERA in 10 appearances for the Astros in 2021, following the completion of an 80-game performance-enhancing drug suspension. His season was cut short when he had season-ending surgery on his UCL in June. Between the suspension and the 2020 minor league season being cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the last time that Emanuel pitched in the minor leagues was in 2019, when he went 8-2 with a 3.90 ERA in 28 games at Triple-A, seven of which were starts.

Meanwhile, the Phillies also acquired RHP Nick Nelson and catcher Donny Sands in a trade with the New York Yankees. In return, the Phillies dealt LHP Joel Valdez and first baseman T.J. Rumfield. Notably, both Nelson and Sands joined the Yankees organization when Joe Girardi was still managing the major league club.

A fourth-round pick out of Gulf State College by the Yankees in 2016, Nelson has a 6.43 ERA in 22 career major league appearances, 20 of which came in relief. With that said, the 25-year-old had a 3.81 ERA across 52 innings at the Triple-A level in 2021, so he could serve as organizational pitching depth.

Sands has yet to make his major-league debut, but the 25-year-old homered 18 times and drove in 56 runs between Double-A and Triple-A in 2021. He was an eighth-round pick by the Yankees in 2015.

Sands wasn’t the only catcher that joined the Phillies organization Friday, as they also acquired Garrett Stubbs from the Astros. The Phillies traded outfielder Logan Cerny to the defending American League Champions to complete the transaction.

Stubbs, 28, was also an eighth-round pick in the 2015 MLB Draft. The USC product has hit just .182 in 77 career major league at-bats. He did post a .418 on-base percentage in 37 games at the Triple-A level in 2021.

The Phillies are in search of a backup catcher for three-time All-Star J.T. Realmuto. Earlier this month, Andrew Knapp elected free agency after being outrighted off the 40-man roster. Sands and Stubbs could compete with Rafael Marchan to open 2022 as the major league backup if the Phillies don’t land another more established option in the meantime.

Additionally, the Phillies added infielder Luis García, outfielder James McArthur and outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz to the 40-man roster Friday. That protects them from being eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 8. 6 p.m. ET Friday was the deadline for players to be added to the 40-man roster.

In Phillies Nation‘s most recent ranking of the top 20 prospects in the organization, Ortiz checked in at No. 12 on the list. The Phillies initially signed Ortiz out of the Dominican Republic in July of 2015, with Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia noting at that time that the slugger landed a $4 million signing bonus. Now 23, Ortiz slashed .250/.346/.488 with 23 home runs, 54 RBIs and an .834 OPS between High-A and Double-A in 2021. He did, however, strike out 113 times in 95 games.

As the dust settles, 39 of the Phillies 40-man roster spots are now accounted for.

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