The two-fold benefit of Rheal Cormier’s solid start is he’s getting the job done in middle relief, and also making himself more attractive in a potential trade.
Under GM Pat Gillick, this will be the year the Phillies trade veteran relief pitching instead of acquire it.
Cormier is an outstanding candidate to be sent packing to a desperate contender in return for young talent. The 38-year-old left-hander is off to a good start, having not allowed a run in his first seven appearances. He becomes a free agent after this season.
The Phillies traded Placido Polanco to the Tigers for Ugueth Urbina last June to give some indication when teams begin trolling for spare arms. By that time, Gillick will know whether the season is a lost cause. Even if they’re in it, they could still cobble together middle relief to take Cormier’s spot, which has not been in pressure situations. Eude Brito and Matt White are left-handed possibilities from Triple-A Scranton.
This spring, it was reported the Phillies were shopping Cormier, who had a 5.89 ERA last season.
Mid-season deals for relief pitching are behind some of the most lopsided trades in history, including the Jeff Bagwell for Larry Andersen deal.