Well, that escalated quickly.
The bullpen-needy Philadelphia Phillies have struck a deal with the Boston Red Sox to acquire relievers Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree and cash. Alex Speier of The Boston Globe was the first to report that the two would be coming back to the Phillies. The club has since confirmed the deal, and will send righties Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold back to Boston.
The Phillies entered Friday night’s matchup against the Atlanta Braves with a league-worst 8.07 ERA from their bullpen. They could have three new relievers as soon as Saturday.
Workman, 32, has a 4.05 ERA in seven games for the Red Sox this season, but his 2.57 FIP suggests he’s due for some positive regression. A season ago, he posted a 1.88 ERA and recorded 16 saves in 73 games for the Red Sox. It’s not immediately clear whether he’ll become a set-up man in the bullpen for the Phillies, or if his arrival will push Héctor Neris out of the closer’s role.
After the 2020 season concludes, Workman can become a free agent.
Meanwhile, Hembree has a 3.60 ERA and 4.22 FIP in 260 career appearances at the major league level. Hembree, 31, still has one more year of arbitration eligibility in 2021.
Though he occasionally flashed high-level potential, Pivetta’s tenure in Philadelphia turned out to be very disappointing, as he posted a 5.50 ERA and 4.22 FIP in 396.1 innings with the team. After being designated for assignment earlier this month, Pivetta will now get a change of scenery with a team desperate for starting pitching depth.
Meanwhile, Seabold posted a 2.24 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) across three different levels in 2019, topping out at Double-A Reading. The 24-year-old checked in at No. 17 on Phillies Nation‘s Top 20 Prospects list in February.
In addition to acquiring Workman and Hembree, the Phillies also acquired veteran reliever David Hale from the New York Yankees earlier on Friday.
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