The Phillies jettisoned their last veteran commodity moments before Monday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline by flipping Joaquin Benoit to Pittsburgh for a single-A relief pitcher.
Benoit, 40, posted a 4.07 ERA in 44 games for the Phillies. He signed for $7.5 million as a free agent last winter. The Phillies included cash in the deal with the Pirates to pay some of remaining money owned to Benoit.
In return, they received Seth McGarry, a right-handed reliever who had a 1.34 ERA in 40 1/3 innings for high-A Bradenton. McGarry, 23, was an eighth-round pick. He has decent numbers, but right-handed relievers in A-ball are not considered prospects. The Phillies did not expect much of a return for Benoit.
“He’s having a really good year and one of the things we’re really excited about is he has a 73-percent ground ball rate,” general manager Matt Klentak said about McGarry. “So I think he’s a guy that will fit in very well in our system.”
The trade, more importantly, frees a late-inning bullpen spot for a younger arm. It could be Ricardo Pinto or Edubray Ramos who fills Benoit’s spot. Luis Garcia will continue to have a tryout as a late-inning reliever. Rookie Jesen Therrien, despite a rough outing Monday, will have some chances.
With Benoit removed, the oldest player on the active 25-man roster is Andres Blanco. He is 33. The highest-paid player on the current 25-man roster is shortstop Freddy Galvis, at $4.35 million.
McGarry, who will likely report to high-A Clearwater, is the fifth minor-league pitcher the Phillies acquired in the last week as they traded four of their veterans.
“It was more the nature of these trades. We did not enter into this saying ‘we need to add X-number of pitchers or at certain levels,’ it’s just the way the trades worked out,” Klentak said. “As you are all well aware, we are always open to adding pitching because we know what the attrition rate of pitching is and that contributes to it to some degree but it could have just as easily been five position players.”