New on Sports Illustrated: Phillies Acquire Relievers Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree in Trade With Red Sox

August 22, 2020 at 07:19AM

The Phillies bolster their bullpen, which owns the highest ERA in the majors.

Ten days shy of the 2020 MLB trade deadline, the Phillies have made a move to bolster their bullpen.

Philadelphia has acquired right-handed pitchers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree from the Red Sox in exchange for right-handers Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold. The Phillies also receive cash considerations in the deal.

Workman, 32, pitched 72 games for the Red Sox in 2019, serving as their primary closer. He went 10-1 with 16 saves and a 1.88 ERA. He's pitched in seven games this season, notching four saves with eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. Workman is a free agent after this season.

Hembree, 31, has posted a 3.90 ERA in 174 games over the past three seasons, averaging 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings. He's 2-0 with a 5.59 ERA in 11 games this season, and is under team control through 2021.

The additions bring in reinforcements for a Phillies bullpen that's been awful so far this season, with a major-league worst 8.07 ERA. Current closer, Hector Neris, has a 6.75 ERA in seven games this year, with three blown saves.

Pivetta, 27, showed promise as a starter in his first two seasons, but split time between the rotation and bullpen in 2019 and struggled, posting a 5.38 ERA in 93 2/3 innings. He's made three relief appearances in 2020, allowing 10 runs in 5 2/3 innings. Seabold, 24, was drafted in the third round in 2017 and made 11 starts across Single-A and Double-A, posting a 1.89 ERA with 58 strikeouts in 57 innings.

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