The Phillies initiated steps to begin a necessary makeover of their troubling bullpen on Friday as the team made two trades to help improve the relief corps that had posted MLB's worst ERA (8.07) heading into action that day.
In a pair of trades, the Phillies acquired right-hander David Hale from the Yankees as well as righties Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree from the Red Sox.
Originally a 3rd round draft pick out of Princeton University by the Braves in 2009, Hale has posted a 4.23 ERA with a 6.0 K/9 mark and a 1.43 WHIP in 95 career big league appearances. Hale had been designated for assignment recently by the Yankees.
In 195 big league games dating back to 2013 Workman has notched a 24-16 record with 20 saves, a 3.75 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP.
Workman ranked first in MLB last year in opponents' xSLG (.238), which measures exit velocity and launch angle of each batted ball in an effort to remove defense and ballpark factors from the equation.
Hembree sports a 3.60 ERA, a 9.6 K/9 mark and a 135 WHIP in his eight years in the big leagues.
All three of the additions have experience pitching in the postseason.
In the trades, the Phillies sent 25-year-old prospect Addison Russ, a 19th round draft pick in 2017, to the Yankees. Going to the Red Sox are 24-year-old pitching prospect Connor Seabold and hurler Nick Pivetta. Reportedly, Boston is also sending cash considerations to the Phillies in that swap.
Last weekend I wrote about both Russ and Seabold as possible options at the Phillies' alternate site that could soon be called upon the help the club's problematic bullpen. It seems they've both helped, but not in the way I anticipated.