All you need to know: Phillies Acquire reliever in 3-team trade

MLB: JUL 29 Rays at Braves
ATLANTA, GA – JULY 29: Jose Alvarado (46) of the Tampa Bay Rays throws during the Braves home opener between the Atlanta Braves and the Tampa Bay Rays on July, 29, 2020 at Truist Park in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire)

The worst Phillies’ bullpen since 1930 is getting some much-needed help. In a 3-team deal, the Phillies are sending Garrett Cleavinger to the Dodgers, the Rays are sending Jose Alvarado to the Phillies, and the Dodgers are sending Dillon Paulson and a PTBNL to the Rays.

Alvarado is a 25-year-old lefty who’s dealt with shoulder and elbow injuries the past two seasons. He throws a power fastball (averages 97 MPH) with a nice curve and a sharp slider.

In the last 2 seasons he has a 5.08 ERA. Alvarado in 2017/18 was fantastic with a 2.79 ERA and a 10.5 K/9. His struggles started in 2019 with a 4.80 ERA. That could be alarming if not for 2019 being the year of the homer. Naturally, Alvarado’s 0.6 HR/9 was 2X his highest point in either 2017 or 2018.

The Phillies send out Garrett Cleavinger, closing the book on the Jeremy Hellickson trade of 2017. Cleavinger had a 4.08 ERA in the minors and made his debut in 2020. He made just one appearance where he gave up a 2-run shot to Robinson Cano. He was not listed among the Phillies’ top 30 prospects according to

Dillon Paulson, who’s heading to the Rays, found some success at A+ Rancho Cucamonga in 2019, posting an OPS of .923. Other than that, his minors career is rather unremarkable with a .253 batting average and a .464 slugging percentage. He does walk a lot with a .373 OBP.

This is a big move for the Phillies, whose pitching woes and total lack of depth have been a huge reason behind their struggles in recent years. While Alvarado may not be a guaranteed home-run and there are obvious injury-related concerns, the fact that the position has even been addressed after such a quiet offseason has to be seen as a positive.

Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire