Signed as a free agent this winter, pitcher David Phelps is heading to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for minor-league pitcher Thomas Hatch.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) July 30, 2019
Phelps, 32, was a buy-low candidate for the Blue Jays after he had to get Tommy John surgery last year and last pitched in the majors for the 2017 Mariners. He made his return to the big leagues in mid-June for the Jays and was steady in the bullpen since then.
Through 17 games and 17 and 1/3 innings pitched, Phelps struck-out 18 but walked a total of seven batters, the former Yankees draft pick also allowed a total of three home runs in that short amount of time. He had a 3.63 ERA for Toronto.
The player the Blue Jays are getting back in this swap is 24-year-old starter Thomas Hatch. Currently in Double-A, the righty has made a total of 21 starts for an even 100 innings. In those innings, Hatch has a total of 93 strikeouts and 37 walks and has a total of 51 earned runs, for a 4.59 ERA.
Hatch holds consistent FB velo, with a 2S in low-90s and 4S in 92-94 range as a SP which translates to roughly MLB average. Despite some sink and arm side run that generates some ground balls on his 2S, neither pitch has the life to allow for mistakes over heart of the plate.
— Michael Ernst (@mj_ernst) January 27, 2019
Phelps now the second player to get traded away that was signed as a low-risk free agent this offseason, the other being Eric Sogard. There is nothing really to lose in this trade other than a pitcher available in the bullpen for the rest of the 2019 season.
The 32-year-old does have a team option on his deal for next season, so he might stick around if he performs well for the Cubs in their push to retain the NL Central title.
With this move and the reports of Sean Reid-Foley actually physically with the Blue Jays but not officially called-up, that will be the next move and he could start some games (including tonight against the Royals) for the Jays down the rest of the torrid stretch of 2019.
There is still a ton of interest around some older Jays as we steadily approach the 4:00 pm trading deadline tomorrow. Cleveland interested in Justin Smoak, the Dodgers and Braves might be trying to get Ken Giles slightly discounted because of his elbow injury, and Daniel Hudson is attracting the Twins.
All we know is that there will be at least a couple more moves before tomorrow is done.