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Report: Phillies in ‘substantive’ talks with reliever Mychal Givens

The Phillies are showing interest in former Orioles, Rockies and Reds reliever Mychal Givens, according to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia. Talks are “substantive” but it’s not clear if the two sides are close to a deal.

The Phillies are showing interest in former Orioles pitcher Mychal Givens. (All-Pro Reels)

Just like last offseason, the Phillies have multiple holes to fill in the back end of the bullpen. Givens, 31, had eight saves in 2021 for the Reds and could pitch either as a set-up man or as a closer if the Phillies plan on signing multiple arms to fulfill that important role.

Givens posted a 3.35 ERA and 4.45 FIP over 51 innings in 2021. He excels at limiting hard contact, but walked 4.76 batters per nine innings last season. The Rockies traded Givens at the deadline to the Reds and he immediately became a top closing option for a Cincinnati team in need of stability in the bullpen.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski made it clear at the GM Meetings that the team is looking for at least one closer.

“If I had to say one thing, I’d probably say, ‘Well, I’d like to have someone close a game for us and count on it,” Dombrowski told reporters, including Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Jon Heyman of Audacy Sports tweeted that acquiring a closer is “a priority” for the Phillies and their “wish list” includes Craig Kimbrel, Josh Hader and Kenley Jansen. Jansen is a free agent without a qualifying offer attached who should get a multi-year deal worth at least $10 million per season. The White Sox are openly shopping Kimbrel, who is under contract in 2022 for $16 million. The Phillies would need to pry Hader away from Milwaukee with a big prospect haul.

Signing Givens would not preclude the Phillies from pursuing a top-end closer, but it could mean the team is leaning towards calling upon multiple relievers to close out games next season.


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