Friday, February 23, 2024

Phils Sign Merrifield / Games Start Tomorrow!

2023 Topps Update #US291
2023 Topps Heritage #524
2023 Topps Big League #136
2023 Topps Heritage #668
2017 Chachi Photo Night #14

The Phillies spent most of the offseason with little to no roster movement, but once camp started in Clearwater there was a sudden flurry of moves.  By my unofficial tally, 65 days passed between the Phillies re-signing Aaron Nola on November 19th and the signing of Kolby Allard on January 23rd.  As we look forward to the first Grapefruit League action tomorrow afternoon, here's a look at the latest comings and goings over the past week.
  • On February 14th, the signing of Spencer Turnbull (rhp) was announced, and McKinley Moore (rhp) was designated for assignment.  Turnbull is 12-29 over parts of five seasons with the Tigers.  In 2023, he was 1-4 with a 7.26 ERA in seven starts and I'm assuming he'll provide some starting pitching depth at Triple-A.
  • On February 16th, Moore and Diego Castillo (inf) were both claimed off waivers.  Moore went to the Yankees with Castillo going to the Orioles.  It's surprising to me Moore would be let go, given he had been identified as one of the organization's top pitching prospects.
  • There were a flurry of moves on Monday, with the biggest being the signing of Whit Merrifield (inf) to a one-year deal to provide a solid infield or outfield bench option.  Merrifield has long been a Phillies Room favorite, as he's one of our son Doug's favorite non-Phillies players.  Like Merrifield, Doug prides himself in being able to play all over the diamond, wherever the team needs him to play.  And I'm excited to add some Merrifield baseball cards to my 2024 Phillies binder
  • To make room for Merrifield, Kaleb Ort was designated for assignment and later traded to the Orioles for cash considerations.  Ort had been on the 40-man roster for six days.
  • Finally, three more non-roster invitees were added, bringing the total spring head count to 61.  Austin Brice (rhp) last pitched in the majors in 2022 with the Pirates, and he's a veteran of seven big league seasons having spent time with the Marlins, Reds, Marlins again, Red Sox and Pirates.  David Dahl (of) was an All-Star with the Rockies in 2019, and he's spent most of the past two seasons bouncing around the minor league systems of the Brewers, Nationals, Dodgers and Padres.  And Ricardo Pinto (rhp) returns to the Phillies, having last pitched in 25 games for the team in 2017.  He's been all over the place since then, having last pitched in the Mexican League in 2023.
Player (position) - 2023 Organization - Last Major Baseball Card

19.  Austin Brice (rhp) - Diamondbacks/Twins - 2023 Topps Pro Debut #PD-86
20.  David Dahl (of) - Padres/Dodgers - 2019 Topps Total (White Sox)
21.  Ricardo Pinto (rhp) - Mexico - 2023 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs #CPA-GM

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