Phillies Send Once-prospect Eshelman to Orioles in Trade
The Phillies have sent pitcher Tom Eshelman to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for international bonus pool signing money.
Once a promising prospect for the Phillies and pitching well at Triple-A, Eshelman regressed in 2018 and found himself pitching in Double-A to open the 2019 season. Eshelman will get a fresh start in a new organization.
The Phillies sent reliever Ken GIles to the Houston Astros in a trade prior to the 2016 season. The Phillies included shortstop Jonathan Arauz and five pitchers came back to the Phillies, including Eshelman. Mark Appel retired. Brett Oberholtzer was only intended to be a placeholder. Vince Velasquez has pitched for the Phillies since the trade. Harold Arauz left the organization as a mnor league free agent.
GIles had his share of struggles in Houston before being traded to Toronto for reliever Roberto Osuna, who was facing domestic assault charges (that were eventually dropped).
The bonus money that the Phillies are acquiring will help the Phillies sign international talent. Teams are allotted a particular dollar amount for a signing bonus pool, though teams may trade that assigned money to other teams.
The Phillies were assigned $4,821,400 for 2019-2020, tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers towards the bottom, with only the Washington Nationals (who exceeded the Competitive Balance Tax threshold and were penalized) and the Atlanta Braves (who have a pool of $0 after an international signing scandal cost the Braves 13 prospects, their general manager's eligibility to work in baseball, and the entire bonus pool).
The Phillies are usually aggressive in the international market.
Eshelman was a combined 1-4 with Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2019. Last season, Eshelman was 2-13 with a 5.84 earned run average, after putting together a 2017 in which he went 13-3 with a 2.40 earned run average.