Hamels among 10 free agents Phillies could tap for starting pitching depth


Over the last few weeks, we’ve profiled individual free agents who might be fits for the Phillies.The series will continue over the next few days with a look at some free agents who fall into the best of the rest category.Today, we look at 10 starting pitchers who might offer the Phillies some depth at the back end of the rotation.

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The right-hander is coming off two injury-plagued seasons and will turn 35 in April. He pitched just one inning for Texas in 2020. Some team will roll the dice on Kluber’s tremendous track record, which includes two American League Cy Young wins and two third-place finishes from 2014 to 2018.


There’s always been mutual interest of an end-of-career reunion between Hamels and the Phillies. After being limited to just 3 1/3 innings with Atlanta because of injuries in 2020, the time might be right to bring back Hamels on a low-guarantee, incentive-laden deal. Hamels will pitch at 37 next season. He’s not the same pitcher who carried the Phils through the glorious 2008 postseason, but if healthy, he could provide innings and veteran leadership to the staff.



He and Hamels are the only two members of the Phillies 2008 World Series championship team who are still active. The Phils tried to bring back Happ before he signed with the Yankees two winters ago. The lefty is 38. He made nine starts and pitched to a 3.47 ERA with the Yankees in 2020. Usual caveats about health and cost, but Happ could also be a fit for the team that originally drafted him out of Northwestern University (Joe Girardi’s alma mater) in 2004.


He’s still young (28), still possesses much of the upside that made him a first-round pick in 2010 and is healthy after missing the bulk of two seasons with an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. The Mariners signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract last winter and he pitched well for them and Toronto (he had a 2.70 ERA in 11 starts overall) after a trade to the Blue Jays. Walker will be looking for a nice payday after his bounce-back season. The Phils have many holes and a tight budget. Walker might have better options elsewhere.


The 34-year-old right-hander was limited to just 12 starts in 2018 and 2019 because of injuries. He registered a 1.081 WHIP in six starts with Toronto in 2020 and is on a number of teams’ radar as a back-end, depth guy.


The Phillies had the right idea when they brought in Morton as a veteran stabilizer before the 2016 season. He suffered a severely torn hamstring in his fourth start and was gone the next year, on his way to becoming an All-Star, a World Series champ (with Houston) and a third-place finisher in the AL Cy Young voting (with Tampa Bay in 2019). Morton is 37. The Rays declined his $15 million option for 2021. He could still return to that club on a lesser deal or he could retire. Morton lives in Bradenton, Florida, so returning to the Rays would be his preference, if he pitches. The Phils could at least offer spring-training proximity to Bradenton if they pursue him.


The lefty made 10 starts with Milwaukee in 2020. He’ll pitch at 33 next season and wouldn’t break the bank on a one-year deal. He has a long track record of keeping the ball on the ground.


This right-hander will garner much interest even though he pitched to a 6.59 ERA with the Twins in four starts in 2020. Odorizzi missed time with three injuries, a blister, a sore back and a bruised chest after being hit with a comebacker. In 2019, Odorizzi made 30 starts, struck out over 10 batters per nine innings and was an All-Star. He’ll pitch at 31 next season. There will be plenty of competition for him.


He took a regular turn in the Pirates’ rotation the last four seasons and has been plagued by the longball. He’ll pitch at 29 next season and is still young enough that some team might take a shot on him as a reclamation project.


Former two-time All-Star is just 32 and could be worth a flier on a low-cost deal as he looks to come back from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery.

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