Phillies Pick Up a Quality Reliever Who Could Help Beyond 2019 in Jared Hughes

The Phillies picked up Jared Hughes, a solid right-handed reliever, on a waiver claim from the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday.

Hughes is a 34-year-old who has spent his entire nine-year career in the NL Central. He's been very good the last two seasons in Cincinnati with a 2.76 ERA in 119 appearances. Last season, he had a career-best 1.94 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. 

Hughes is not a strikeout pitcher. He relies on groundballs to get outs but has done so reliably the last six seasons. He has not lucked his way into a 2.62 ERA over nearly 400 innings over that span. His groundball rate of 62.6 percent since 2014 is fourth among all active relievers. 

Hughes is better than the typical reliever a team can acquire for free this time of year. The Reds likely let him walk because they are not contending this season and it saves them money. Hughes is owed between $500,000 and $600,000 the rest of this season. There is a $3 million club option on his contract for next season that can be bought out for $250,000. 

If Hughes pitches well for the Phillies down the stretch, he could be back next season. This move gives the Phils a chance to assess his work in relief and whether he can contribute to the 2020 club, similarly to what they're doing with Jason Vargas, who also has a team option on his deal for next season. 

To make room for Hughes on the 40-man roster, the Phillies moved reliever Edubray Ramos to the 60-day IL. 

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