The Philadelphia Phillies might not be done spending this offseason, after all.
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported on the television station’s morning program “Hot Stove” that the Phillies are keeping tabs on free-agent starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi.
“You get Dave Dombrowski, you play to win,” Heyman said referring to the Phillies’ president of baseball operations. “They are clearly playing to win… My understanding is that they are in touch with Jake Odorizzi and that is a possibility.”
The 30-year-old right-hander has been one of the top remaining available pitchers on the free-agent market ever since Trevor Bauer’s dramatic decision to join the Los Angeles Dodgers.
But other pitchers with comparable stats and projections have gone off the board before him — most notably James Paxton returning to the Seattle Mariners while Taijuan Walker inked a two-year deal with the New York Mets last week.
Odorizzi is coming of fan injury-riddled 2020 season that limited him to just four starts — and he didn’t do well in those outings, either. He posted a 6.59 ERA in his third season with the Minnesota Twins with a 1.390 WHIP.
It was the first real bobble of a career that has seen the righty become a reliable middle-of-the-rotation option. In his first eight MLB seasons, he posted a 3.88 ERA and a 1.238 WHIP with the Kansas City Royals and Tampa Bay Rays before joining the Twins in 2018.
Odorizzi was an All-Star in 2019, going 15-7 with a 3.51 ERA with 178 strikeouts in 159 innings pitched.
Should he sign with the Phillies, he would immediately be in the mix for the No. 3 or 4 role depending on how the organization projects Zach Eflin to perform behind staff ace Aaron Nola and No. 2 man, Zack Wheeler.
It would also bolster the depth that is still riddled with question marks after those top two arms. The book is still out on Eflin while lower-rotation spots are currently being fought over for by the likes of Vince Velasquez, the young Spencer Howard, and a pair of veteran free-agent signings in Matt Moore and Chase Anderson.