Rucker to the Phillies
The Phillies have finalized a deal to acquire right-handed pitcher Michael Rucker from the Cubs in exchange for cash considerations. The announcement was made by Phillies President of Baseball Operations, David Dombrowski. 

Rucker, 29, showcased his talents in 35 appearances for the Cubs last season, tallying a 4.91 ERA with 40 strikeouts and 19 walks over 40.1 innings pitched. Notably, among the 294 right-handed pitchers in the league who logged at least 40.0 innings in the previous season, Rucker's 51.8% ground ball rate ranked 41st. Despite a challenging stretch in May where he conceded nine earned runs in 6.1 innings pitched across three consecutive appearances, he managed to maintain a commendable 3.44 ERA in 32 outings in 2023. 

Throughout his career spanning seven seasons in the minor leagues, Rucker has displayed consistency, boasting a 3.25 ERA with 424 strikeouts and a 1.15 WHIP in 138 games, including 44 starts, over parts of seven seasons. Originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 11th round of the 2016 MLB Draft from Brigham Young University, Rucker was designated for assignment by the Cubs on February 1. 

In order to accommodate Rucker on the 40-man roster, the Phillies have designated right-handed pitcher Andrew Bellatti for assignment. Bellatti, 32, appeared in 86 games over the previous two seasons for the Phillies, posting a 3.87 ERA to go along with a 1.38 WHIP. 

Unlike Rucker, Bellatti does not have an option remaining on his contract.

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