WASHINGTON -- The Phillies hope Luis Avilan is the left-handed specialist they have needed this season.The club announced Wednesday afternoon it had acquired Avilan in a trade with the White Sox. The Phillies sent Double-A right-hander Felix Paulino to Chicago to complete the deal. Avilan is expected to join the
WASHINGTON -- The Phillies hope Luis Avilan is the left-handed specialist they have needed this season.
The club announced Wednesday afternoon it had acquired Avilan in a trade with the White Sox. The Phillies sent Double-A right-hander Felix Paulino to Chicago to complete the deal. Avilan is expected to join the team for Thursday's series finale against the Nationals at Nationals Park. In the meantime, the Phillies designated right-hander Jose Taveras for assignment to make room for him on the 40-man roster. They will make a corresponding move Thursday to place him on the 25-man roster.
When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.
"He's really good vs. lefties," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said of Avilan. "And as you know, Washington and Atlanta, it's nice to have the left-handed weapon. He had faced 77 left-handed batters this year, four extra-base hits, no home runs, five walks,  strikeouts. It's going to be a nice weapon for us to have. And given the fact that Aaron Loup was on the DL, that was a really, really smart acquisition by [general manager] Matt [Klentak] and puts us in a much better position going forward."
Both Loup (strained left forearm) and left-hander Austin Davis (lower back tightness) are on the disabled list. Davis could be activated as early as Sunday. Loup will remain sidelined for a few more weeks.
Avilan, 29, had a 3.86 ERA with 14 walks, 46 strikeouts and two home runs allowed in 39 2/3 innings for the White Sox. He held left-handed batters to a .214 batting average and .564 OPS. He has not allowed an extra-base hit to a left-hander since May 21.
Avilan cannot become a free agent until after the 2019 season, so he could help the Phillies beyond this season, too.
"It's fun to play on a contender," Avilan told White Sox reporters. "An experience to get an opportunity to go to the playoffs is always exciting, and it's an exciting moment."
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.