The Philadelphia Phillies struggled to get meaningful production out of their rotation in 2019 with the exception of Aaron Nola who posted a 3.87 ERA and 4.03 FIP across 202.1 innings as he anchored the rotation.
Outside of Nola, every Phillies starter with a minimum of 10 starts posted an ERA above 4.00.
The Phillies have already made a splashy move to improve the rotation by bringing in right-hander Zack Wheeler on a five-year, $118 million contract.
With Nola and Wheeler atop the rotation, the Phillies have a formidable duo leading the staff. However, the depth behind those two starters still leaves something to be desired.
Behind Nola and Wheeler, the Phillies have Zach Eflin, Vince Velasquez, Nick Pivetta, and Jake Arrieta. While Eflin, Velasquez, and Pivetta have each had positive moments throughout their young careers, no one from this group has developed into a reliable starting pitcher yet.
Meanwhile, Arrieta is at a different stage in his career. The right-hander has struggled to the tune of a 4.26 ERA while battling injuries since putting on a Phillies uniform. He has not given the team the type of stability they hoped for when he was signed to a three-year, $75 million contract.
With all this being said, the Phillies have playoff aspirations, but do not have a reliable set of arms to throw behind Wheeler and Nola.
Adding Samardzija would give them an innings-eater in the back of their rotation with a reliably consistent track record. Samardzija holds a partial no-trade clause that he can update annually, and that list is not currently known to the public.
Another hurdle is that the Phillies only have $5.3 million in payroll space before crossing the CBT according to Spotrac. As a result, the Giants would likely need to pay down a portion of Samardzija’s remaining contract and take on David Robertson‘s contract, which carries a $11.5 million payroll hit.
As the Phillies look to fill the back-end of their rotation, Samardzija is a durable arm who can give them plenty of quality innings.