The Philadelphia Phillies are interested in a veteran reliever who has already spent some time in red pinstripes.
Jon Heyman of Audacy Sports reports that Dave Dombrowski and company are interested in left-handed reliever Aaron Loup, as are the division-rival New York Mets.
Loup, of course, was briefly a Phillie in 2018, as then-general manager Matt Klentak acquired him from the Toronto Blue Jays in July of that year. Loup pitched in just nine games for Gabe Kapler’s squad, posting a 4.50 ERA.
But over the last two seasons, Loup has had tremendous results while pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays and Mets. Since the start of the 2020 season, Loup has posted a 1.43 ERA and 2.87 FIP in 89 games.
Heyman reported Wednesday that the Phillies “appear focused on pitching” early in this offseason.
Loup — who Ken Davidoff of The New York Post has projected will sign a three-year/$27 million deal — would be a nice start to rebuilding the bullpen, giving Joe Girardi another left-handed option in addition to José Alvarado, Ryan Sheriff and Bailey Falter.
The biggest pitching priority for the Phillies this winter appears to be adding a closer with a strong track record. Kenley Jansen — who is a 13th in MLB history with 350 saves — is a free agent. Eight-time All-Star Craig Kimbrel recently had his $16 million club option for 2022 picked up, but could be a trade candidate for the Phillies.
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