PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Phillies acquired right-hander David Phelps from the Milwaukee Brewers before Monday’s trade deadline for three players to be named.
The 33-year-old Phelps is 2-3 with a 2.77 ERA in 12 games this season. He has struck out 20 and allowed only seven hits, four earned runs and two walks in 13 innings.
“He’s a fantastic competitor and he expects to be perfect every day,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “He’s going to grind it out every day.”
Phelps is the fourth reliever to join the Phillies in a trade in 10 days. They got Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree from the Red Sox and David Hale from the Yankees on Aug. 21. The team expects Phelps to join it on Tuesday.
“I’m excited about it,” Girardi said. “It gives me so many options, experienced options, guys who have been used to pitching in the back end in the playoffs. It changes the complexion of our team.”
Phelps sensed there was a chance he could get traded. He’s been moved near the trade deadline twice before, going from Miami to Seattle in 2017 and from Toronto to the Chicago Cubs in 2019.
“You look around that (Brewers) clubhouse, you see the controllable arms they have, especially in the bullpen, and they dealt from a place of strength, for sure,” Phelps said. “It caught me off-guard in the sense that it was as close that I’ve ever been traded to the deadline, but it’s always a possibility. It’s a team that’s looking at more than just this year, they like what they have in the bullpen currently, even minus me, and (are) looking at ways they can improve their farm system, so from a business standpoint, it makes sense.”
Phelps pitched for Girardi from 2012-14 with the Yankees. He was 15-14 with a 4.21 ERA in 87 appearances, including 40 starts.
“I’ve said the same thing every single time I’ve been traded midseason: I’m going into a situation where I’m playing meaningful baseball late in the season,” Phelps said. “That’s what we look for. I was introduced to big-league baseball by Joe Girardi. I’m really looking forward to playing for him again. I get to reunite with (former Marlins teammate) J.T. Realmuto, who I had some of my best years of my career with, so there’s a lot to like about the team I’m going to. It does’t hurt any less leaving the guys that I just left, but it’s something to look forward to for sure.”
Overall, Phelps is 34-37 with a 3.83 ERA in 281 career appearances with the Yankees, Marlins, Mariners, Blue Jays, Cubs and Brewers.
“I feel you could put David anywhere,” Girardi said. “He’s added velocity. He knows how to expand up. He’s not just a sinker/slider guy anymore. He has a good curveball, a cutter. He’s been a really effective reliever.”
Philadelphia enters Monday night’s game against Washington with the worst bullpen ERA in the majors at 7.01 — but right in the mix for a spot in the expanded postseason with a 14-15 record.
Phelps had been filling a setup role in the Brewers’ bullpen, which has been the team’s biggest strength thus far.
“It became very clear early on that David was an attractive player to a number of teams,” Brewers general manager David Stearns said. “We did our due diligence, as we always do, and listened and ultimately we found a deal that we thought was important for us to make. We also think we have some depth in our bullpen and we’re dealing from an area of strength.”
This story has been corrected to show that Phelps’ career record is 34-37, not 34-87.
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