MLB trade deadline: Phillies’ deal to acquire Tyler Anderson from Pirates hits snag, per reports

The Philadelphia Phillies had reached an agreement to acquire veteran left-handed starter Tyler Anderson from the Pittsburgh Pirates, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. Two prospects — right-hander Cristian Hernandez and catcher Abrahan Gutierrez — were heading to Pittsburgh in the deal, though the trade has hit a snag, per Heyman.

The nature of the holdup is due to an issue with one of the minor leaguers heading to Pittsburgh in the deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Anderson threw a bullpen session at PNC Park on Tuesday afternoon, reports Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It’s unclear whether the Phillies can still complete the trade (perhaps with different prospects) or whether Pittsburgh will look to trade Anderson elsewhere.

Anderson, 31, is on a one-year contract and owed the balance of a $2.5 million salary for 2021. On the season, he’s pitched to a 4.35 ERA with 86 strikeouts and 25 walks in 18 starts and 103 1/3 innings. 

His ERA is skewed in the wrong direction by a disastrous nine-run outing against the Braves in late May, so he may project a bit better than you might think over the balance of the season. Anderson was scratched from his scheduled start on Tuesday, signaling a deal was close.

As for the stuff, Anderson’s fastball checks in just above 90 mph, but it has good vertical movement. He complements it with a cutter and curve, primarily. For his career, Anderson owns an ERA+ of 102 across parts of six MLB seasons with the Rockies, Giants, and Pirates. 

The Phillies, who enter Tuesday’s slate with a 50-49 record and 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Mets in the NL East, have struggled to get reliable starting pitching behind Zack Wheeler. If the deal goes through, then Anderson figures to slot in behind Wheeler and Aaron Nola in the Philly rotation. 

On Pirates’ side of things, neither Hernandez nor Gutierrez numbers among the Phillies’ top prospects. Hernandez, 20, has pitched to a 3.49 ERA and 3.36 K/BB ratio in 12 starts and two relief appearances for Low-A Clearwater this season. As for Gutierrez, 21, he’s batted .285/.418/.424 this season, also for Low-A Clearwater.

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