MLB Rumors: Phillies add pitching depth
It's been a rather quiet offseason for the Philadelphia Phillies, which is strange to say after many years in a row of them dominating the headlines.
The Phillies did make one of the biggest moves of the offseason early on by re-signing Aaron Nola, but other than that, not much has gone on. They've watched Craig Kimbrel and Rhys Hoskins land elsewhere, and have not done much to improve a roster that has come so close, but not gotten over the hump in the last couple of seasons.
Dave Dombrowski finally made a move, signing Spencer Turnbull to a one-year deal worth $2 million according to Jon Heyman of the New Yorm Post. The right-hander was non-tendered by the Tigers in November making him a free agent, but was once a promising arm in Detroit.
He was a regular member of the Tigers rotation in 2019, making 30 starts that season, and then he followed that up by posting a 3.97 ERA in 11 starts in the shortened 2020 campaign. The 2021 season saw Turnbull post a 2.88 ERA in his first nine starts before the injuries started. The 31-year-old missed the remainder of 2021 and the entire 2022 campaign due to injury, and then he struggled in his seven starts this past season before being non-tendered.
Turnbull gives the Phillies much-needed pitching depth. He likely won't beat Cristopher Sanchez out for a spot in the rotation, but can make spot starts if needed, and can also work out of the bullpen in long relief. The most important factor here is that he has a minor league option, meaning the Phillies can send to the minors without him needing to clear waivers. In all likelihood, Turnbull will begin the season in AAA starting games ready for a potential promotion at any time.
There's little risk that comes with a cheap one-year deal for an optionable starting pitcher, and who knows, perhaps Turnbull can recapture some of the magic he had in 2020 and 2021.