The Phillies have sent right-handrs Juan Geraldo, Brandon Ramey and Israel Puello to the Brewers as the three players to be named later in last month’s David Phelps trade, per announcements from both teams. Milwaukee also added that right-hander Jake Faria has been released.
The names in the trade were already known, as MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reported their inclusion not long after the completion of the trade. Still, it’s of some note that the swap is now official, without any of the involved pieces altered in the time that passed between agreement and completion.
None of the three pitchers going to the Brewers have pitched above Rookie ball. Geraldo and Puello, both 19, spent the 2019 season with Philadelphia’s affiliate in the Dominican Summer League. Ramey, who turned 20 on the day of the trade deadline, was with the Phillies’ Gulf Coast League club last year.
Because we’re looking at Rookie-level summer leagues, the sample of each pitcher’s body of work is rather small. Still, all three posted intriguing numbers last year. Geraldo logged a 3.96 ERA, mostly as a reliever, but added a more impressive 33-to-7 K/BB ratio in just 25 innings. Ramey logged 22 2/3 frames and posted a very similar 30-to-6 K/BB ratio with a 2.78 ERA. Puello racked up 65 2/3 innings as a starter and turned in a pristine 1.92 ERA with an 83-to-19 K/BB ratio.
None of the three were ranked within the Phillies’ 30 best prospects, and they’re all years from making an impact at the MLB level. Brewers president of baseball ops David Stearns has had luck with this type of low-level, quantity-forward approach in the past, though, most notably when he plucked a then-19-year-old Freddy Peralta away from the Mariners as one of three low level prospects acquired in exchange for Adam Lind.
As for the 27-year-old Faria, his release ends a disappointing tenure with the club. Acquired last year in the trade that sent Jesus Aguilar to the Rays, Faria joined the Brewers as a buy-low candidate but never got much of a look. He was tagged for 11 runs in just 8 2/3 frames last year after the trade, and Milwaukee outrighted him off the 40-man roster back in January. Although Faria was in the team’s player pool, he wasn’t ever summoned to the Majors in 2020.
Back in 2017, Faria looked like the latest somewhat out-of-the-blue arm to pop up with the Rays and carve out a spot in the bigs. He tossed 86 2/3 innings for Tampa Bay that season, working to a quality 3.43 ERA and a 4.12 FIP with averages of 8.7 strikeouts, 3.2 walks and 1.1 homers per nine innings. He’s never managed to replicate that output, however, and over the 2018-19 seasons he logged a combined 5.70 ERA and 5.45 FIP in a near-identical sample of 83 2/3 innings.
Phelps, like most other relievers in Philadelphia this year, hasn’t paid dividends since the trade. He’s appeared in seven games and surrendered runs in five of them, resulting in a dismal 11.37 ERA through 6 1/3 innings. Phelps has whiffed nine hitters in that time, but those results are still miles away from the excellent work he posted with the Brewers to begin the season and from his generally steady career track record.