Phillies add trio of relievers via trade in an attempt to rebuild the bullpen

Phillies get some bullpen help via trades
General manager Matt Klentak had seen enough, so he made some moves on Friday to improve the worst bullpen in baseball. In the afternoon, the club acquired veteran reliever David Hale from the Yankees in exchange for prospect Addison Russ. Later in the day, Klentak swapped pitchers with the Red Sox, sending Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold to Boston in exchange for Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree.

The Phillies also received $800,000 from the Red Sox and future considerations, either more cash or a player to be named later.

“You have to give something to get something, and there are not a lot of quality relievers available right now in this market,” Klentak said. “We think we’re reading the market and trying to get a jump on it because I don’t know that there will be a lot of relievers that change hands in the next ten days.”

The bullpen entered Friday with an 8.07 ERA through 21 games, the worst mark in baseball.

Hale, 32, was designated for assignment by the Yankees earlier this week. He has surrendered two runs over six innings this season. For his career, Hale has made 95 appearances (20 starts) for the Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Colorado Rockies and Minnesota Twins, posting a 4.23 ERA.

Workman, 31, relies on a strong fastball. He has appeared in seven games for the Red Sox this season, recording four saves in four opportunities while posting a 4.05 ERA with eight strikeouts. In 2019, he became just the eighth reliever in history to record 100 or more strikeouts and allow one or no home runs and posted a 1.88 ERA in 73 appearances. He held opponents to a .123 batting average, the lowest mark since 1900 among any pitcher to pitch at least 60.0 innings.

Hembree, 31, made 11 relief appearances in 2020 for Boston, posting a 1.86 ERA with ten strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings over his first 10 of those 11 outings. He has a career 3.60 ERA in 260 relief appearances.

Hale could be in the bullpen as early as Saturday, while Workman and Hembree should be available on Sunday.

To make room on the roster, the Phillies designated Austin Davis for assignment. Davis surrendered seven runs on ten hits over three innings this season.

Pivetta leaves Philadelphia with a 5.50 ERA over just under 400 innings in four seasons. The organization expected the 27-year-old to make a significant step forward this season, but things never materialized. He surrendered ten runs on ten hits over 5 2/3 innings this season.
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BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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