The second move of note for the Phillies has gone down, and wouldn’t you know, it’s in the bullpen. The Phillies have acquired Sam Coonrod from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for RHP Carson Ragsdale, the team announced.
Coonrod, 28, was drafted by the Giants in the 5th round out of Southern Illinois University back in 2014. He debuted in the Major Leagues back in 2019, throwing 27 2/3 innings with an ERA of 3.58, along with 20 strikeouts to 15 walks. His underlying numbers suggested that his performance was due to luck, as his FIP and xFIP were over five, at 5.24 and 5.70, respectively.
His 2020 was much closer to his underlying numbers the previous year, as, in 14 2/3 innings, his ERA was 9.82, though his strikeout and walk percentages had both improved (9.20 and 4.30). Armed with a fastball that has averaged 97.1 over his career and a curveball with really good spin rates, he is definitely an interesting arm to go get new pitching coach Caleb Cotham.
However, this is not the kind of trade I want to see Dave Dombrowski making for multiple reasons.
First and foremost, I think this is a rather high overpay for the Phillies. Ragsdale was considered by most to be an excellent value pick when the team picked in him the fourth round in the 2020 draft. Standing 6’8, the righty out of USF was new to the rotation, but had shown promise. His fastball averaged 91-95 in college, but most anticipate he will be able to add some to that as he harnesses his stuff. His curveball showed plus and looks to be a potential strikeout pitch in the bigs. He was listed as the No. 30 Phillies’ prospects, according to MLB Pipeline, and was likely to be higher on my list.
All that being said, Ragsdale is a few years away so he could have been traded in the right deal. As seen with the Mets trade for Francisco Lindor, there are shrewd moves to be made out there as teams look to save money. The Phillies only have a limited amount of ammo to make deals though, as their farm system is barren of top talent.
This deal is a swing and a miss.
Sure, an arm like his doesn’t grow on trees, but it’s also becoming increasingly easier to find players that throw in the upper 90’s. You were able to acquire a better talent in Jose Alvarado for less, and he’s close to three years younger. Coonrod hasn’t had the success that Alvarado has had. This is a very expensive flyer that the Phillies could have found elsewhere.
Trade aside, Coonrod has had his fair share of controversy. Earlier this past season, Coonrod came under fire from people across the country for things he said after being the only player in San Francisco not to kneel. In what is definitely a hot button issue for this country right now, Coonrod is sure to have his character questioned by part of the fan base.
Nothing wows me about this trade. Coonrod will surely have a place in the big league bullpen, but I am not expecting anything world beating from him.
This just feels like a wasted bullet that could have been used elsewhere on one of the other holes.