The Phillies announced that they have acquired the No. 1 international signing slot for 2015-16 signing period from the Diamondbacks for right-hander Chris Oliver, left-hander Josh Taylor, and the No. 9 slot.
Oliver, who turns 22 this week, was the Phillies’ fourth-round pick out of the University of Arkansas in 2014. He had a 4.04 ERA and 4.2 BB/9 but with an extremely low 3.5 K/9 in 69 innings with Class A Lakewood. He also struggled greatly in his pro debut last season. MLB.com ranked him the Phillies’ No. 20 prospect prior to the trade, however, noting that he can throw up to 97 MPH.
The Phillies signed Taylor as a non-drafted free agent. He posted a 4.61 ERA, 9.2 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 68 1/3 innings, also in the Lakewood rotation.
The Diamondbacks were awarded the largest international bonus pool heading into the July 2 signing season, at $5,393,900. The Phillies had a pool of $3,041,700, but they had already agreed to sign Dominican slugger Jhailyn Ortiz for $4.2MM and Venezuelan catcher Rafael Marchan for $200K. MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that the No. 1 bonus slot is worth $3,590,400 and the No. 9 slot is worth $1,352,100, so the trade effectively gives the Phillies about $2.2 million extra spending to work with. That should give them enough spending rights to cover Ortiz and Marchan and still have a little money left over.