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 MLB.com.
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
Alec Kostival graduated from La Salle University with a degree in communication with a focus in mass media and journalism. He covered high school sports for the Chestnut Hill Local. He has interned with the Reading Fightin Phils and the Philadelphia Eagles.