The Phillies have made a signing to bolster their pitching depth, but it’s not who you think it would be.
Phillies have agreed to major-league deal with free agent lefty Matt Moore, according to sources. Deal is pending a physical. Moore made 15 starts in Japan last year and pitched well.— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) January 29, 2021
According to reports, it’s for $3 million and it’s significant to note that it’s a major league deal. This is surprising.
Last year in Japan, Moore made 15 starts and pitched to the tune of a 3.60 ERA. He struck out 98 in 85 innings, only walking 26 and allowing only seven home runs. Those are pretty good numbers, but it’s something their scouts saw that made the team give him a major league deal.
The last full season that Moore pitched in MLB was 2018 with Texas and it wasn’t good. He pitched in 36 games (12 starts) and racked up a 6.79 ERA. Known forever as a strikeout artist, by the end of his first MLB tenure, he was only striking out 18.3% of batters before he started striking hitters again in NPB.
This is a depth signing and one that does come with a little bit of a gamble. It’s a major league deal, so that reported $3 million is now guaranteed. For a team that supposedly doesn’t have a lot of money to spend this offseason, it does raise an eyebrow or two that they could find the guaranteed money for Moore when there are others that were available who pitched in the major leagues last year. However, the team seems to have seen something in him enough that they’d want to give him that money. Maybe it’s because of this: