Various reports have the Phillies shopping impending free agent Shane Victorino and according to Paul Daugherty of the Cincinnati Enquirer the Reds turned down a deal for the 31-year-old center fielder in exchange for reliever Logan Ondrusek.
Ondrusek is a 26-year-old right-hander whose 2.70 ERA this season and 3.27 career mark are both great-looking, but his 105/67 K/BB ratio in 157 innings is considerably less impressive. This year he has 25 strikeouts compared to 19 walks in 37 innings, so the 2.70 ERA comes via plenty of smoke and mirrors.
All of which means that, if Daugherty’s report is accurate, the Phillies aren’t asking a whole lot for Victorino and the Reds aren’t exactly desperate to bring him in as a leadoff/center field replacement for Drew Stubbs.
Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.
Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.
Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.
At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.
Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.