Phillies make two trades on a busy day of transactions


The Phillies made a handful of transactions on Friday, including a couple of trades for players who could impact the big-league club in 2022.

Right-hander Nick Nelson was acquired along with minor-league catcher Donny Sands in a deal that sent a pair of minor leaguers to the New York Yankees.

Nelson, who pitched in 22 games in the majors the last two seasons, will compete for a bullpen job in spring training.

In a separate deal, the Phils acquired catcher Garrett Stubbs from Houston. He played in 51 games in the majors the last three seasons, including 33 at catcher. Stubbs, 28, was basically the Astros' third catcher. He could become the Phillies' backup catcher in 2022 as Andrew Knapp has become a free agent.

The Phils sent minor-league outfielder Logan Cerny to Houston for Garrett. Cerny, 22, was picked in the 10th round of the 2021 draft.

In the deal with the Yankees, the Phillies traded two minor leaguers, lefty Joel Valdez and first baseman T.J. Rumfield. Both are 21. Valdez pitched in the Dominican Summer League in 2021. Rumfield played at Low A Clearwater in 2021. He was selected in the 12th round of the draft earlier this year.

Nelson, who will pitch at 26 next season, has strikeout stuff but control is an issue. He had 22 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings with the big club last season but walked 16. He has averaged 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings in the minor leagues but has walked 4.8 per nine.

Dave Dombrowski, the Phillies president of baseball ops, has made restocking the bullpen a priority this winter. In fact, the team claimed lefty Kent Emanuel off waivers from Houston earlier Friday. He and Nelson become candidates for work in spring training, but the Phillies are still looking for more established arms. Dombrowski has said he’d like to add two arms to the late innings, including someone who can close.

Sands, 25, caught at Double A and Triple A in the Yankees' system last season.

The addition of Stubbs and Sands improves the Phillies' catching depth, which already features a couple of strong prospects in Rafael Marchan and Logan O’Hoppe. The newly added catching depth at least creates the possibility that the Phils could use one of their catching prospects in a trade to fill some of the many holes they need to address this winter.

Nelson, Emanuel and Stubbs all go on the 40-man roster, which stands at 39.

The Phils made several other additions to the 40-man roster Friday, adding infielder Luis Garcia, right-handed pitcher James McArthur and outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz. Garcia and Ortiz were two of the Phillies’ biggest international signings in recent years, garnering bonuses of $2.5 and $4 million, respectively. Ortiz hit 23 home runs in 95 games at High A and Double-A in 2021.

McArthur, a 6-foot-7 right-hander, made 15 starts at Double-A in 2021. He was a 12th round draft pick out of Ole Miss in 2018.

Players added to the 40-man roster are protected from being lost in the Rule 5 draft next month.

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