The Philadelphia Phillies have reportedly swung a trade for two-time All-Star reliever Gregory Soto and infielder Kody Clemens from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Nick Maton, Matt Vierling, and Donny Sands. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi was first with the full trade.

Jim Salisbury, formerly of NBC Sports Philadelphia, was first with the makings of the trade. 

Background on who the Phillies Got

Gregory Soto

Soto is a 27-year-old left-handed reliever who is under team control through the 2025 season. He was an All-Star in both 2021 and 2022 with a career ERA of 4.13 across four MLB seasons. Soto’s 9.9 K/9 over the last two seasons is fourth best among all left-handed relievers with at least 120 IP. However, his 5.4 walks per nine was the worst among all relievers with the same qualifier. The lefty averaged 98.7 MPH on his fastball last season, the best among all left-handed relievers and one ahead of new teammate Jose Alvarado. 

Kody Clemens

Clemons, the son of 7-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens, is a 26-year-old utility infielder. He made his MLB debut with the Tigers last season and hit .145 with a .505 OPS in 127 plate appearances. He collected 4 defensive runs saved in limited playing time split among third base, second base, first base, and left field. 

Background on who the Phillies Gave Up

Maton and Vierling were both bench players that played key roles for Philadelphia in their trip to the World Series. Maton hit .250 with an .855 OPS and 5 home runs in 85 regular season appearances. Vierling received much of the team’s playing time in center field until the trade deadline and hit .246 with a .648 OPS and 6 home runs across 357 plate appearances in 117 games. 

Donny Sands made his MLB debut in 2022 with Philadelphia and appeared in 3 games and had 4 plate appearances. The 27-year-old was behind J.T. Realmuto, Garrett Stubbs, and Rafael Marchan on the Phillies catching depth chart. 


The Phillies sacrificed some of their newfound depth in order to acquire another strong bullpen option. Soto and Alvarado are the two hardest-throwing left handers in all of baseball. Much like Alvarado, the Phillies and pitching coach Caleb Cotham will look to coax more out of Soto’s elite stuff. The key to “fixing” Alvarado was adding a cutter into his pitch mix. Soto currently does not throw a cutter, as he is primarily a sinker and four seam pitcher that uses a slider as his strikeout pitch. In fact, opponents swung and missed at Soto’s slider 36% of the time he threw it in 2022. 

The Phillies bullpen that features Seranthony Dominguez, Alvarado, Craig Kimbrel, and now Soto could potentially be a strength and gives manager Rob Thomson plenty of options to mix and match in the later innings. That is on top of Andrew Bellatti, Connor Brogdon, and Matt Strahm who can be deployed anywhere from the middle innings on. Overall, Philadelphia has the makings of a potentially top-tier bullpen. 

Losing Maton and Vierling is a blow to the Phillies bench, but one the Phillies should be able to mitigate. Edmundo Sosa and his superior glove left little playing time for Maton, and Daulton Guthrie after his emergence later in the season could potentially immediately step in and fulfill Vierling’s role. Nevertheless, the Phillies and president Dave Dombrowski could look to add another bench bat to help bridge the gap in the outfield until Bryce Harper’s return. Adam Duvall will be a hot name to consider. In 86 games with Atlanta last year, Duvall posted a .677 OPS with 12 home runs. 

This trade signifies the complete 180 the Phillies organization has taken over the last year. They were able to cash in some of their younger depth for a potential major bullpen upgrade. It illustrates how they are looking to duplicate a development success to pull more out of an acquired asset. Both of those strategies would have seemed alien before 2022. It also signals how the Phillies realize that to compete for the NL East title in 2022, 100+ wins may be necessary. 


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