Gregory Soto has been a member of the American League All-Star team in each of the past two seasons while serving as the Detroit Tigers closer. The Phillies hope he pitches well enough to come over to the National League All-Star team in 2023 after they acquired him from Detroit in a five player deal.
Along with the 27-year old left-hander, the Phillies also add infielder Kody Clemens to the organization. Clemens is the son of pitcher Roger Clemens and was drafted by the Tigers in the third round of the 2018 Draft and made his MLB debut last May at the age of 26.
The Phillies had to dig fairly deep to acquire the two players, giving up outfielder Matt Vierling, utility man Nick Maton and catcher Donny Sands, all of whom saw time in the majors with the Phillies in 2022.
Soto made seven starts in his rookie season back in 2019, but was primarily a reliever with 26 relief appearances that season and 153 appearances over the past three seasons. He appeared in 62 games in 2021 and set a career-high with 64 games last season when he saved 30 games for Detroit. Over the past two seasons, Soto is 8-14, but has a 3.34 ERA and 48 saves. Control issues have plagued Sota, who walked 5.4 batters per nine innings over the past two seasons, while striking out 9.9 per nine.
Clemens had a slash line of .145/.197/.308 in 56 games with the Tigers last season. He played 17 games at third, 13 at first and nine each at second base and in left field.
Vierling, 26, made his major league debut with the Phillies in 2021 picking up a pinch-hit single against the Giants. After playing in 34 games in 2021, Vierling played in 117 last season and has a career line of 8-38-.260/.309/.374 in 151 games. In the majors he has played all three outfield positions and at all three bases.
The 25-year old Maton also made his MLB debut in 2021, also against the Giants and went 1-for-4. In 86 major league games, Maton has seven home runs and 31 RBI to go with a .254/.330/.434 slash line. He has played second, third, short and both corner outfield positions with the Phillies.
Sands spent most of last season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley before joining the Phillies last September. He played in three games with the Phils, going 0-for-3. Sands was originally drafted by the Yankees in 2015 and was then dealt to the Phillies in November of 2021 along with Nick Nelson for minor leaguers T.J. Rumfield and Joel Valdez.
Soto recently avoided arbitration with the Phillies by agreeing to a one-year deal. Clemens has two option years left.