Phillies trade for Cubs right-hander, DFA Bellatti

The Phillies made two transactions to begin the week, claiming utilityman Diego Castillo off waivers from the Yankees and trading cash considerations to the Cubs for right-handed reliever Michael Rucker.

There were 39 players on the Phillies’ 40-man roster before the moves. Castillo and Rucker were added and reliever Andrew Bellatti was designated for assignment to free up the final spot.

The 26-year-old Castillo, not to be confused with the Rays/Mariners setup man by the same name, played 96 games with the 2022 Pirates. He had just one at-bat in 2023 with the Diamondbacks. He’s hit .205/.250/.380 with 11 home runs and 13 doubles in 284 plate appearances. He owns a .296 career batting average and .410 on-base percentage in 177 games at Triple A and has played every position, getting his most work at shortstop.

Rucker was DFA’d by the Cubs last week when they signed Hector Neris. He appeared in 76 games for Chicago the last two seasons, pitching to a 4.36 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 95 innings. He turns 30 in late April. Rucker throws six different pitches but was mostly fastball-cutter in 2023, throwing them a combined 66.2 percent of the time.

Importantly, Rucker has one minor-league option remaining, which means he can be sent to the minors without being passed through waivers.

Bellatti, who is out of minor-league options, has been with the Phillies since November 2021. He was one of their most surprising contributors in 2022 with a 3.31 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 54⅓ innings. Last season didn’t go nearly as well. Bellatti dealt with a triceps injury in April and May and made as many appearances in Triple A as he did the majors, ultimately finishing with a 5.11 ERA. He can become a free agent if no team claims him on waivers.