The Phillies are continuing to look to add to their organizational depth through international free agent signings.  At least year's July 31 trade deadline, the Phillies added money to their international signing bonus pool in three different trades.  The Phillies made a trade today that was intended to give them more spending power.

The Phillies announced that they have traded left-handed pitching prospect Elniery Garcia to the Saint Louis Cardinals in exchange for international signing pool bonus money.

The Phillies thought enough of Garcia to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, adding Garcia to the 40-man roster in November, 2016.  Garcia entered Spring Training in major league training camp and reported to Double-A Reading.

However, before Garcia ever threw a pitch, he was suspended for 80 games as a result of the joint drug agreement.  After serving his suspension, Garcia returned to Reading, where he pitched in five games, going 2-1 with a 1.75 earned run average.

Garcia was outrighted off the 40-man roster in November, clearing waivers to remain in the organization.  Garica began 2018 with Reading and struggled.  In 10 games that included nine starts, Garcia was 0-6 with a 6.38 earned run average before being placed on the disabled list.

Just yesterday, Megan Montemurro of The Athletic (subscription required and highly recommended) wrote about the efforts the Phillies put into scouting and signing international players. Special assistant to Phillies general manager Matt Klentak, Bryan Minniti, spoke to Montemurro of the desire of the organization to add money to their bonus pool:

“A lot of places, your budget is your budget and your pool is your pool – that’s it,” Minniti said. “So we aggressively pursue money, making it a priority to trade for it, which maybe you sacrifice value in other areas, and then being allowed to spend it are two things that not everybody can do. We’re pretty fortunate with that, too.”

Expect the Phillies to pick up some more money in future trades this month of July.

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