As we talked about earlier this week, in order for the Phillies to sign Jhailyn Ortiz and Rafael Marchan they would need to acquire more slot money. The first part of this trade is moving slot money. The Phillies trade the #9 slot ($1,352,100) for the #1 slot ($3,590,400). This is more than the Phillies need (they can only acquire and use 50% of original pool), so this means they can sign Ortiz and Marchan and stay under slot.
The players going to Arizona are two members of the Lakewood rotation. RHP Chris Oliver was the Phillies 4th Round pick last year. Out of college he had a plus to plus plus fastball and plus slider, with most draft writeups thinking he was a reliever long term. This year he has been 89-92 touching 93 with a slider that will flash above average. His command is a mess and he looks like a reliever. He would have had a hard time cracking my Top 50 this offseason.
LHP Josh Taylor was a non-draft free agent the Phillies sign out of the Northwest league last year. He is a big bodied lefty who will routinely sit 89-94 out of the rotation. He has a slider and curveball, both will flash above average, though rarely in the same start. He will also show a low 80s changeup. There is the pieces for a major league starter profile, but it is a long way away. He would have been in my Top 50 prospects, but outside of the Top 30.
This opens up two spots in the Lakewood rotation. Tyler Gilbert and Luke Leftwich have stepped up into the Williamsport rotation for the next turn. This likely means that the “displaced” pitchers Denton Keys and Luis Morales get shots in the Lakewood rotation.
This is one of those trades that depends on the followup to the move. If the Phillies just sign Jhailyn Ortiz and stay under their draft pool, they gave up two low upside lottery tickets for the right to sign players for the next two years. Those players have more theoretical upside than Oliver and Taylor making this a big win for the Phillies. If the Phillies still blow their pool then they traded two interesting players for the right to pay less tax.