Thursday, August 11, 2022

Phillies acquire Angels outfielder Brandon Marsh, Cubs reliever David Robertson at 2022 MLB trade deadline

The Philadelphia Phillies have acquired a Los Angeles Angels center fielder (no, not that one). The Phillies landed outfielder Brandon Marsh from the Angels prior to Tuesday’s trade deadline, Jim Bowden of CBS Sports HQ confirmed. Los Angeles will receive catching prospect Logan O’Hoppe in return.

Marsh, 24, was a consensus top-50 prospect as recently as last spring. He has struggled in the big leagues, however, hitting .239/.299/.354 with a 35.7 percent strikeout rate in 163 games and 583 plate appearances the last two years, so almost exactly a full season of playing time. Certainly the Phillies hope they can untap some of the potential that made Marsh a top prospect.

Philadelphia has needed a legitimate center fielder for years now and, if nothing else, Marsh will bring excellent defense to the table. He played primarily left field with the Angels in deference to Mike Trout but is a natural center fielder with speed and ballhawk skills. Marsh is a massive center field upgrade for a Phillies team that has been one of the worst defensive teams in the sport.

In other Phillies trade news, the club has brought back veteran righty reliever David Robertson in a trade with the Chicago Cubs, according to The Athletic. Pitching prospect Ben Brown is heading to Chicago in the trade. Robertson, 37, signed a two-year, $23 million contract with the Phillies in Jan. 2019, but threw only 6 2/3 innings during the contract due to injuries and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bullpen seems to be a perpetual need with the Phillies and Robertson is having an outstanding season, one that made him arguably the most desirable rental reliever at the trade deadline. Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson knows Robertson well from their time together with the New York Yankees, and Robertson can fill any role (closer, setup, middle relief, etc.).

The Phillies designated both outfielder Odúbel Herrera and reliever Jeurys Familia for assignment after making the trades.

Brown, 22, owns a 3.08 ERA with 105 strikeouts in 73 innings in Single-A this season. He was one of the biggest breakout prospects in Philadelphia’s system this season. The 22-year-old O’Hoppe owns a .269/.385/.492 batting line with 15 homers in 74 Double-A games. JT Realmuto being signed long-term made him an easy prospect to trade for the Phillies.

The Angels (43-59) and Cubs (41-61) were widely expected to sell prior to the trade deadline. Los Angeles dealing a young player like Marsh is a bit of a surprise, though outfielders are always plentiful in free agency, and good young catching is difficult to find.

At 55-47, the Phillies sit in the third and final National League wild-card spot. They have not been to the postseason since 2011.

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