Phillies Acquire Reliever José Álvarez from Angels in Exchange for Luis García

PHOTO CREDIT: RICHARD MACKSON-USA TODAY SPORTS

We have Phillies news. No, it’s not about Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, or Madison Bumgarner, but we have Phillies news. The team announced this evening that it has acquired left-handed relief pitcher José Álvarez from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for reliever Luis García.

 

That Álvarez throws with his left hand in and of itself makes him appealing, given the Phillies’ had nobody that could effectively do so a season ago. They’ll hope that Álvarez, along with the newly-acquired James Pazos, can rectify that issue in 2019. Álvarez, like García, has two years of team control remaining and each will make similar money this upcoming season. The 29-year-old Álvarez posted a 2.71 ERA, 3.05 FIP, and 1.159 WHIP, while striking out 59 batters over 63 innings in 76 appearances last season. The Phillies probably also like that he generated a 45% ground ball rate and only surrendered three home runs, which, by the way, is something Hector Neris managed to achieve in a single inning during one June appearance last season.

In terms of pitch selection, he’s primarily a fastball/slider pitcher, having thrown those pitches a combined 63.7% of the time last season, but he also features a sinker and changeup. His slider was particularly effective. Opposing hitters only batted .171 with a .416 OPS against it last season. He was also tough on lefties, holding them to a .206 batting average and .603 OPS. Here he is in action:

As for Garcia, he has good stuff, and some of his advanced metrics were comparable, and in some cases, better than those of Álvarez in 2018, but to acquire an effective 29-year-old lefty in exchange for a 31-year-old righty that pitched to a 6.07 ERA last season has to be considered a win for the Phillies.

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8 Comments

  • Kevin Fransden December 6, 2018 at 11:04 pm

    Great swap, but why the heck does Anaheim make this trade?!

    Reply
  • Everybody is calling after the game whining about the Flyers December 6, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    I don’t understand. You go toe to toe against one of the best teams in East. The Hack did a magnificent job waking up the team that was asleep for 2 1/2 periods and almost pulled out a huge win. Seriously did anyone think they could beat CBJ.

    Reply
  • J December 6, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    Alvarez is 29. Same age as Garcia.

    Reply
  • J December 6, 2018 at 11:24 pm

    *Garcia is 31

    Reply
    • BWanksCB December 6, 2018 at 11:27 pm

      Alvarez is two years younger, both have two years left of team control. Garcia has some advanced metrics that show better than Alvarez, but considering the dearth of LHP here, and quality production, the deal makes sense.

      Reply
  • Robert Cleary December 6, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    Everybody likes to blast Adam Morgan but I saw somewhere that the average OPS of the batters Morgan faced was the highest in MLB. That indicates to me that Kapler used him in the highest leverage situations. BTW Dir Anthony was number two. I never realized they tracked that but it makes sense

    Reply
    • BWanksCB December 6, 2018 at 11:39 pm

      I had a line in here about Morgan, but decided to leave it out. I think he needs a change of scenery, but he struggled for much of the season in high-leverage spots, and against LHH. He’s probably not worthy of the intense criticism he gets, and that OPS thing is interesting, but I think it’s time for both sides to part ways.

      Reply
  • Eugene December 7, 2018 at 6:36 am

    I hear Bwanks can really fill out a pair of gym shorts.

    Reply
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