It looked like the Phillies had done all that they would be able to do for the trade deadline after dealing Pat Neshek, Howie Kendrick and Jeremy Hellickson. Then, in a Monday matinee game, Joaquin Benoit was skipped over in the late innings in favor of having Hector Neris pitch for the third straight day. Shortly after the Phillies win – their fifth straight – Benoit was getting hugs and handshakes from guys who were now his former teammates.
GM Matt Klentak pulled off one last move Monday sending reliever Benoit to the Pittsburgh Pirates for High-A pitcher Seth McGarry.
Benoit was brought in to be put in a fairly high profile role with the Phillies in hopes that they would be able to trade him at the deadline and add to the crop of young players in the organization. While he didn’t perform as well as the Phillies would have hoped, dropping the return to just one young relief pitcher, Klentak was able to squeeze something out where it appeared there was nothing to be gotten.
The 40-year old Benoit pitched in 44 games with a 4.07 ERA for the Phillies, in a season where his numbers were actually a little better than what his performance was perceived to be by fans. The Pirates also received cash from the Phillies to help pay down the remaining portion – approximately $2.5-million – of the $7.5-million deal that the Phillies gave Benoit last Winter to join their bullpen.
McGarry, while not a high profile prospect, has had an impressive season with the Pirates High-A club in Bradenton. In 40 1/3 innings, McGarry posted a 1.34 ERA with a 0.843 WHIP and a groundball rate of 73-percent. All intriguing numbers for a 23-year old reliever.
The Pirates drafted McGarry in the eighth round of the 2015 Draft out of Florida Atlantic University, and he won’t need to be protected in the Rule 5 Draft this season, which is a plus for a team low on spots on the 40-man roster.
Prior to acquiring Benoit, the Pirates, who are 5 1/2 games out in the National League Central and 8 1/2 games out for a wild-card spot, sent reliever Tony Watson to the Dodgers.