Phillies add pitchers from Rays via trade and waiver claim

Phillies add pitchers from Rays via trade and waiver claim originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Phillies made their first two additions of the offseason, claiming left-handed pitcher Josh Fleming off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays and acquiring right-hander Michael Mercado, also from the Rays.

Fleming is 27 years old and has been in the majors with the Rays in parts of the last four seasons, compiling 55 appearances with a 4.88 ERA and 1.42 WHIP.

He appeared in 12 games this past season — three times as a starter and nine times as a bulk reliever behind an opener. Each of the dozen appearances was between three and six innings. His best two outings came in April with six scoreless innings against the Astros and in May with six innings of two-run ball against the Blue Jays.

Lefties hit .192 off Fleming in 2023. He will compete in spring training for a spot on the Phillies' pitching staff, likely filling a Dylan Covey sort of role if he makes the club.

Mercado was acquired in a trade for cash considerations and right-handed pitcher Adam Leverett, who spent the last two seasons at Double A.

Mercado was the Rays' second-round pick in 2017, five spots before the Phillies selected Spencer Howard. Mercado has not yet appeared in the majors, having split 2023 between Double A and Triple A, where he struck out 95 batters in 62 innings in his first full season as a reliever.

The Phillies' 40-man roster is at 38. They removed two pitchers, Michael Plassmeyer and Erich Uelmen.