The Phillies have acquired ambidextrous relief pitcher Pat Venditte from the Mariners, per a team announcement on Saturday. The Mariners will receive minor league outfielder Joey Curletta in the trade.
Venditte, 31, split his 2016 season between the Blue Jays and Mariners, pitching to a cumulative 5.73 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 7.8 SO/9 in just 22 innings. He’s expected to bring some bullpen depth to the Phillies, who are a little thin on left-handed relief this spring. According to comments made by Philadelphia GM Matt Klentak, Venditte will enter the Phillies’ camp after he finishes pitching for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic, at which point he’ll begin competing for a major league role.
Curletta, 23, was the PTBNL in the Carlos Ruiz trade to the Dodgers last August. He finished the 2016 season in Double-A Tulsa, batting .206/.280/.371 with four home runs and a .652 OPS in 107 PA.
Craig Mish of SiriusXM reports that the Brewers have put together a trade offer for Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich. He describes the club’s interest in Yelich as “strong,” and notes that other teams remain in the mix.
Yelich’s relationship with the Marlins was recently described by his agent as “irretrievably broken” following the trades of Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Dee Gordon. His agent said Yelich “needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win.” Understandably, teams have been calling the Marlins asking about him.
The 26-year-old hit .282/.369/.439 with 18 home runs, 81 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances last season. He’s in the fourth year of a seven-year, $49.57 million contract of which $44.5 million remains. Given how slow the free agent market has been this offseason, it’s difficult to say exactly what he would get if he were to hit the open market, but it is safe to say that his current contract is very much a bargain for his team, which only makes him even more attractive to inquiring teams.
The Brewers are an interesting team to get involved in the Yelich sweepstakes. Their outfield already has three capable players in Ryan Braun, Domingo Santana, and Keon Broxton. Yelich would still be an upgrade, but the Brewers’ resources may be better spent in other areas like the starting rotation.
Given Yelich’s displeasure and Jeter’s insistence on stripping the Marlins bare — including, potentially, the iconic home run sculpture — it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see a trade happen.