Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Phillies acquire reliever Vinny Nittoli in unique late-August trade with Blue Jays

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Seattle Mariners

Gone are the days of big names being traded in August after the “non-waiver” deadline. There are no longer waiver trades in August, such as the one that sent Justin Verlander to the Astros at the last minute on Aug. 31, 2017. Nowadays, since the 2019 rule change, the trade deadline is more of a hard deadline. 

Still, deals can happen for players who haven’t been on 40-man rosters at all in 2022. Players like Brad Peacock and Mallex Smith were traded last year in August, for example. 

This time around, the Phillies have added reliever Vinny Nittoli from the Blue Jays. They’re expected to add him to the big-league roster on Thursday when rosters expand. The deadline to add players to the organization and have them still be eligible for postseason rosters is the end of the day Wednesday (Aug. 31), so it’s possible Nittoli will hang around and be a relevant reliever for the Phillies down the stretch.

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Nittoli, 31, has one inning of MLB experience. This season, he’s been with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Triple-A Buffalo. In 46 1/3 innings, he has a 3.30 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 59 strikeouts against 14 walks. He’s been dominant in his time with Buffalo (15 strikeouts against one walk in 9 2/3 innings while allowing a .171/.216/.200 slash). 

Thanks to injuries to Corey Knebel (out of the season) and Seranthony Domínguez (on the 15-day IL), the Phillies are seeking bullpen depth. Philadelphia still is in the second wild-card spot in the NL, but has lost three straight games entering Wednesday’s series finale against Arizona.

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