On the day teams had to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players, the Phillies traded outfielder Ben Francisco to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for minor league lefthanded reliever Frank Gailey.
Gailey, 26, is a product of Archbishop Carroll and West Chester University. He was a 23rd-round pick of the Blue Jays in 2007.
He split last season between Single-A Dunedin and Double-A New Hampshire in the Blue Jays’ minor league system where he combined to go 5-6 with a 3.41 ERA in 45 relief appearances.
For his minor league career he has gone 23-15 with a 2.45 ERA in 175 games (one start).
"Even as a collegiate pitcher, one of the things that Frank did better than just about everybody at that level is he had a great feel for how to get certain hitters, guys he was going to throw it by them or force contact early in the count," said former West Chester coach Greg Mamula, now an assistant coach at Cincinnati. "He has good movement on his pitches, he can change speeds. There are a lot of different things he can do as far as location, movement and changing speeds and that's been reflected in minor league baseball."
"How he’s made his way through the minors and had success and the way he is going to potentially get big-league hitters out is to expose their weakness because he can do different things with a baseball."
Mamula said Gailey will benefit from coming home.
"He’s a kid from Philadelphia so he’s got family and friends there," he said. "At the time, he was well known as one of the top high school pitchers and going to West Chester, he has that following and has got the support ... There’s going to be a lot of people following him, obviously, and a lot of people requesting tickets from him whether he's in Reading, Allentown or Philadelphia."
Francisco, 30, spent parts of three seasons with the Phillies (2009-11), where he hit .259 with 17 home runs and 75 RBI in 225 games. He was initially acquired in the trade that brought Cliff Lee to the Phillies the first time. He hit .244 with 6 home runs and 34 RBI last season.
He made $1.8 million last year and was likely to get a raise via arbitration.
The Phillies have made significant moves to remake their bench and ran out of room for Francisco. The team has added Jim Thome, Laynce Nix and Ty Willingham, along with re-signing Brian Schneider. It is likely the Phillies tender Wilson Valdez before the midnight deadline tonight.
He appeared in 17 career postseason games for the Phillies and belted the sixth postseason pinch-hit home run in club history in Game 3 of the 2011 NLDS against St. Louis.
Tweeted Phillies centerfielder Shane Victorino, "Gonna miss my boy BennyFresh #goodluck in Toronto bro!"
The Phillies now have 39 players on the 40-man roster.