With the first official move of the Dave Dombrowski/Sam Fuld era, the Phillies brought in Jose Alvarado from the Tampa Bay Rays in a three-team deal. The Phillies sent reliever Garrett Cleavinger to the Dodgers, who sent infielder Dillon Paulsen and a PTBNL to Tampa Bay in order to complete the trade.
In what was an incredibly atrocious season for Philadelphia's relief corps, everyone and their mother expected Dombrowski and Fuld to be engaged in the relief pitching market this off-season. Acquiring the flamethrowing Alvarado was the perfect start to the process of restoring a bullpen that accumulated an ERA of 7.06 when all was said and done.
Alvarado's age and experience are the first things that I looked at when I heard about the trade. At 25 years of age, Alvarado is about a year younger than the outgoing Cleavinger. Couple this with the fact that Alvarado has already completed four big league campaigns and you get a younger, more experienced left-handed bullpen arm.
The second thing I looked at was, as you should as well, Alvarado's presence on the Pitching Ninja's Twitter timeline. Just a quick glance, this dude is flat out nasty. Sporting a two seamer that sits at 98-99 and can touch triple digits, Alvarado won the highly-coveted "2020 Pitching Ninja Award for Cruelest At-Bat."
The Phillies desperately need a guy like this. Firepower like the kind that Alvarado sports is an immediate draw for younger fans of the game, where his meaningful bullpen help will satisfy seasoned members of the Phillies Phaithful.
In addition to his plus two-seamer, Alvarado boasts an above-average curveball, and his ability to fool hitters will be among the best on the Phillies roster.
One might say that a drawback would be that Alvarado is already arbitration-eligible, where Cleavinger still has a few years of pre-arbitration left. I would respond by saying, politely, WHO CARES. With little bullpen reliability, I will take the younger fireballer for a million dollars per season over the older unproven rookie on a minimum salary any day.
Although Alvarado has been suffering from some shoulder problems, I believe this off-season will give him the opportunity to heal up and prepare to help the Phillies make a playoff run in 2021.
I appreciate you all for reading this rather short post, let me know your thoughts on Alvarado in the comments. Happy New Year Phillies fans.