Phillies sign lefty reliever Strahm to 2-year deal

December 9th, 2022

PHILADELPHIA -- Matt Strahm grew up in Fargo, N.D., so he knows the best baseball players from the area. 
He knows Chris Coste, who grew up in Fargo, too. Strahm was 17 when Coste helped the Phillies win the 2008 World Series. Coste caught Strahm’s bullpen sessions during his rookie offseason a few years ago, when Strahm played for the Royals. Friday, Strahm officially joined the Phillies. The team announced a two-year contract worth $15 million. 
“He’s still got unbelievable hands back there,” Strahm said about Coste. 
Strahm joined the Phillies because they want him to deepen the bullpen. He becomes the bullpen’s No. 2 left-hander behind José Alvarado, essentially filling the role of free agent left-hander Brad Hand.

Strahm, 31, went 4-4 with a 3.83 ERA in 50 appearances last season with the Red Sox. He has a 3.81 ERA in a seven-year career, which includes 207 appearances (25 starts) with the Royals, Padres and Red Sox. Strahm received interest from other teams, but he said the Phillies were the most aggressive.

It’s been an offseason theme, following Trea Turner’s 11-year, $300 million contract and Taijuan Walker’s reported four-year, $72 million deal, which could be officially announced next week.

“Philly didn’t give many people a chance,” Strahm said. “They made it look sweet, and you can’t argue with that team. I’m at a point in my career where winning is everything. I did the rebuild thing in San Diego. I want to be on a team that’s ready to compete. You can’t argue with what the Phillies have done.”

Strahm said he comes from a competitive family regarding everything from sports to who can drink their glass of milk the fastest. 
“It’s how I view life, I guess,” he said. “Try to win everything.” 
In 2022, Strahm struck out 52 and walked 17 in 44 2/3 innings. His strikeout rate (26.9 percent) was its highest since 2018 (28.2 percent). His walk rate (8.8 percent) was its highest since 2017 (14.3 percent). Strahm relies on a four-pitch mix with a four-seam fastball (.286 expected slugging percentage against), slider (.281), curveball (.371) and sinker (.330). 
Strahm had surgery to repair his right patellar tendon in October 2020. He spent most of the 2021 season on the 60-day injured list and spent the 2021-22 offseason rehabbing from the surgery. He said he expects to have more power in his legs this season. 
“This was the first year I’ve ever gained weight throughout the year,” Strahm said.