The Phillies made their first major addition on Friday afternoon.   After Bryan Price decided to retire from full-time coaching, the Phillies were left with a major vacancy on their coaching staff.  The Phillies will replace Price with someone with whom both Price and Phillies manager Joe Girardi is familiar:  Cincinnati Reds assistant pitching coach Caleb Cotham.  The Phillies announced the move Friday afternoon.

Cotham spent two seasons in the major leagues as a reliever.  In 2015, Cotham pitched for the New York Yankees with Girardi at the helm.  He then was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in 2016 as part of the Aroldis Chapman trade, and Price became his manager.   Cotham signed with the Seattle Mariners prior to the 2017 season, but announced his retirement before throwing a pitch at the big league level.  But it sounds like Cotham leaves a good impression with his coaches.

With the Reds, Cotham served for two seasons as assistant pitching coach, under Derek Johnson, who was his college coach at Vanderbilt.   At just 33 years old, Cotham has built a reputation for his analytics, and work with Driveline Baseball, which describes itself as a "data-driven baseball performance program".

The Reds featured the 2020 Cy Young award winner Trevor Bauer.  Bauer is a free agent looking for a new team. Bauer praised Cotham's work with pitchers in Todd Zolecki's piece about the appointment. It's unclear if the Phillies are interested in signing Bauer, but having Cotham certainly would not hurt the Phillies' chances to sign him.

The Phillies also have a bullpen coach vacancy after the contract of Jim Gott was not renewed.