Phillies acquire veteran relievers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree from Red Sox

Mark Townsend
·Yahoo Sports Contributor
·3 mins read

The attempts to bolster the Philadelphia Phillies bullpen led to MLB’s first notable trade of the season.

According to the Boston Globe’s Pete’s Abraham, the Phillies have reached an agreement with the Boston Red Sox that will bring over veteran relievers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree.

The Red Sox will also receive cash considerations in the deal The Red Sox will receive right-handed pitchers Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold.

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.

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.

Other Red Sox trade candidates include designated hitter J.D. Martinez, first baseman Mitch Moreland, outfielders Kevin Pillar and Jackie Bradley Jr.

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