Phillies Trade for Reliever Nick Nelson on a Busy Day of Transactions

Phillies trade for reliever Nick Nelson on a busy day of transactions originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Phillies made a handful of transactions on Friday, including a trade with the New York Yankees that netted them a candidate for bullpen work in 2022.

Right-hander Nick Nelson, who pitched in 22 big-league games for the Yankees the last two seasons, comes to the Phillies along with minor-league catcher Donny Sands.

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The Phillies sent a pair of minor-leaguers to the Yankees, 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. Nelson becomes a candidate 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.

The Phils are looking for a backup catcher. Sands, 25, is likely to at least get a look while adding depth to a system that already features a couple of strong prospects in Rafael Marchan and Logan O’Hoppe.

In addition to the trade, the Phillies made a waiver claim in bolstering their field of bullpen candidates. Lefty Kent Emanuel comes over from Houston.

Nelson and Emanuel will go on the 40-man roster.

The Phils made several other additions to the 40-man roster, 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.

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