By Maggie Daley

The Phillies’ big week continued Friday when it announced a two-year deal with free-agent lefty Matt Strahm, who will reportedly be guaranteed $15 million on the contract, which was the third free-agent agreement of the week for a Phillies club that also closed deals with shortstop Trea Turner (11 years, $300M) and right-hander Taijuan Walker (four years, $72M)

Strahm, 31, pitched the last year with the Red Sox on a one-year, $3M deal. He tossed 44 2/3 innings of 3.83 ERA ball, striking out batters at a 26.9% clip against an 8.8% walk rate. Strahm had fairly even splits, limiting left-handed hitters to a .229/.333/.354 line while right-handers hit .221/.302/.353. It represented a solid platform year for Strahm, who pitched just 6 2/3 innings for the Padres a year prior.

The Padres gave him a look as a starter in 2019, and he wound up making 16 starts for the team that year. Those didn’t go so well, as Strahm pitched to a 5.29 ERA. They returned him to the bullpen and Strahm quickly found his groove again, tossing 33 innings of 3.27 ERA relief work in the second half. He continued to provide value for the Padres out of the pen in the shortened 2020 season, working to a 2.61 ERA in 20 2/3 innings.

Injuries plagued his 2021 campaign, as Strahm first dealt with a right patellar tendon repair. He returned in August that year, but a few weeks found himself shut down for the rest of the season with knee inflammation. He went to free agency looking for opportunities to rebuild his value, and found that in the form of a one-year, $3MM deal with the Red Sox. The platform year in Boston went well enough that Strahm now finds himself with a multi-year contract with an AAV of $7.5MM.

The addition of Strahm brings the Phillies’ payroll up to about $230 million in terms of actual 2023 salaries, but their luxury-tax ledger (which is based on AAV and also includes player benefits and the team’s payment into the leaguewide pre-arbitration bonus pool) is just shy of $242 million, per Roster Resource.

That’s about $8 million over this year’s $233 million threshold.

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