Phillies get new closer after acquiring Jose Alvarado from Rays

Philadelphia Phillies, Tampa Bay Rays

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Jose Alvarado will try to get back on track in Philadelphia.

The Tampa Bay Rays aren’t operating like a team that was just a few games away from winning a championship, as they traded away ace Blake Snell just hours before officially putting center fielder Kevin Kiermaier on the block.

With Tampa again looking to sell of spare parts in the name of financial flexibility, new Philadelphia Phillies GM Sam Fuld and president Dave Dombrowski pounced on lefty reliever Jose Alvarado, who could be the cure to their bullpen struggles.

FanSided’s Robert Murray confirmed that Alvarado is headed to the Phillies in a three-team deal that also includes the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jeff Passan reported that minor league infielder Dillon Paulson will head to Tampa Bay in this deal, while left-handed reliever Garrett Cleavinger will go to the Dodgers.

When healthy, Jose Alvarado can be a filthy relief pitcher

Alvarado posted a 2.79 ERA over his first two years in the league, largely due to the fact his main pitch is a wicked two-seam fastball with slider-like movement that regularly hits or exceeds 100 miles per hour. After a bit of a regression in 2019, Alvarado’s poor 2020 was due to both the fact he only played in nine games and some injuries that limited his effectiveness.

Even after Joe Girardi traded for Brandon Workman, Philly had one of the worst bullpens in the league, one of the many potential reasons that they were unable to make it into the expanded postseason.

Hopefully, if Alvarado is able to turn back the clock and unleash the pitch some have named “El Diablo” on the National League, a deep Phillies lineup, with or without JT Realmuto, will finally be enough to contend in the NL East. For Tampa Bay, this trade is just another sign that ownership and the front office had no intention of keeping this team together.

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