The attempts to bolster the Philadelphia Phillies bullpen led to MLB’s first notable trade of the season.
The Red Sox will also receive cash considerations in the deal The Red Sox will receive right-handed pitchers Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold.
From the #RedSox: RHPs Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree and cash considerations along with a player to be named later or cash considerations to the Phillies for RHP Nick Pivetta and minor league RHP Connor Seabold.— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) August 22, 2020
Phillies have MLB’s worst bullpen
The motivation is simple from the Phillies side. They entered the weekend with MLB’s worst bullpen (8.07 ERA) and they’re also without their best reliever, Jose Alvarez, who landed on the injured list Thursday after taking a 105 mph line drive off his groin.
Upgrades were desperately needed. This trade gives them two reliable veterans that can handle multiple roles.
Workman, 32, spent part of 2019 as Boston’s closer. He flourished in the role, recording 16 saves. He finished the season with career bests in ERA (1.81) and FIP (2.46). This season, he has a 4.05 ERA over seven appearances.
Hembree, 31, has made 251 appearances for Boston dating back to 2014. He’s off to a slow start this season with a 5.59 ERA through his 11 appearances, but has been steady over his career with a 3.60 ERA and 4.22 FIP.
Red Sox starting to rebuild?
On the Red Sox side, this might be the first of several trades before the Aug. 31 trade deadline. Boston currently resides in last place in the AL East at 9-18.
There are more questions than answers at several spots on Boston’s roster. Most notably, they are short-handed in the starting rotation with Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez out for the season. A turnaround this season is very unlikely, making this a good season to retool or possibly begin a larger rebuild.
Boston has several impending free agents and large salaried players who might be enticing to contending teams. Workman is the first of those players to be traded, though the return is admittedly light.
Nick Pivetta ends his Phillies career with a 5.50 ERA in 396⅓ innings, the highest by any Phillie with that many innings since 1931.— Corey Seidman (@CSeidmanNBCS) August 22, 2020
Boston’s 6.01 ERA entering play Friday was the second worst in MLB, so any new addition could be considered an upgrade.
Seabold, 24, does possess some upside. He posted a 2.25 ERA and 2.77 FIP at Double-A last season.
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