MLB free agency: Reunion with former top prospect Trevor May could be realistic option for bullpen-needy Phillies

Jim Salisbury
·2 min read

Reunion with former top prospect could be realistic option for bullpen-needy Phillies originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Phillies spent over $700 million on free agents the last three offseasons. Spending all over baseball could be impacted this winter by revenues lost because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that's not going to stop us from taking a daily look these next few weeks at some free agents who would fill needs and help the Phillies get better.

Today: Relief pitcher Trevor May.

Career to date

Once upon a time, May was Phillies property. He was selected out of his Washington high school in the fourth round (136thoverall) of the 2008 draft and by 2011 was the team’s top pitching prospect, winning the Paul Owens Award (along with shortstop Freddy Galvis) after that season.

May was traded to the Minnesota Twins along with Vance Worley at the winter meetings in 2012 for leadoff man Ben Revere.

A bearish, 6-5, 240-pound right-hander who wears a size-17 shoe, May had Tommy John surgery in 2017. He made it back to the majors in July 2018 and since then has been outstanding in a setup role. Over the last three seasons, he has pitched to a 3.19 ERA with a 1.08 WHIP over 113 innings. He has given up just 6.7 hits per nine innings and struck out 12.2 per nine over that span.

2020 season

May pitched 23⅓ innings, allowed 10 earned runs, 20 hits and seven walks. He struck out 38. Seventeen of his 24 appearances were scoreless. Five of the 20 hits May allowed were homers but, overall, he generated a high swing-and-miss rate with his 96-plus mph four-seam fastball. He also throws a slider and changeup.

How he’d impact the Phillies

You might have heard that the Phillies had the worst bullpen in the majors in 2020. The unit is in need of a complete overhaul. May could help provide an upgrade and he has the stuff to warrant a look at closer.

Contract outlook

From Liam Hendriks to Brad Hand to Trevor Rosenthal, Alex Colome, Mark Melancon, Shane Greene, Blake Treinen and more, the reliever market is crowded, particularly with closers and other established late-game options. May, who made $2.2 million last season, is not as heralded as any in the aforementioned group, but he should have a very healthy market and could be affordable for a team on a budget, like the Phillies, on a multi-year deal. He’s 31. He’s put together a nice track record. He’d be a nice addition to the Phillies’ bullpen and is worth keeping an eye on.

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