The Philadelphia Phillies are on the very of acquiring two-time All-Star reliever Gregory Soto from the Detroit Tigers, per multiple reports.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia was the first to report that the Phillies were “working on a trade” for Soto. Jon Morosi of MLB.com says that outfielder Matt Vierling, infielder/outfielder Nick Maton and catcher Donny Sands would go back to Detroit in exchange for Soto and infielder Kody Clemens, who is the son of seven-time American League Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens.
Soto, 27, has played in the All-Star game in each of the past two seasons, but has a 3.34 ERA over that period, so it’s not as though he’s been consistently dominant.
Soto can’t become a free agent until after the 2025 season. In 2023, he’ll pitch in a bullpen that will include Alvarado. It’s possible, though, that he’s insurance if Alvarado were to depart in free agency next offseason.
Vierling and Maton were both key bench pieces for the Phillies in 2022. Vierling, specifically, was valuable because of his ability to play all three outfield positions, among others. As Bryce Harper recovers from Tommy John surgery, the Phillies will need a reliable fourth outfielder to go with the trio of Kyle Schwarber, Nick Castellanos and Brandon Marsh.
Left-handed relief pitcher Gregory Soto. Photo courtsey of LINDSEY WASSON/USA TODAY SPORTS