Desperate for bullpen help last summer, former Phillies GM Matt Klentak traded Nick Pivetta and starting pitching prospect Connor Seabold to the Red Sox for right-handed relievers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree.
The Phillies had the worst bullpen in baseball at the time and it barely improved with Boston’s cast-offs. In some ways, things got even worse late in games for the Phils after the August 21 trade.
One year and three weeks later, Seabold made his MLB debut for Boston Saturday night against the White Sox.
Seabold pitched three innings and allowed two runs on a homer by Leury Garcia.
While Pivetta needed a change of scenery and admitted as much when he returned to Citizens Bank Park as a visiting player this summer, the Phillies still lost this trade. It was one of many failed moves that cost Klentak his job.
Workman had the lowest opponents’ batting average in all of MLB in 2019 but couldn’t get through an inning with the Phillies in 2020 without loading the bases. He had a 6.92 ERA here and put 32 men on base in 13 innings. Hembree had a 12.54 ERA with the Phillies, allowing seven home runs in 9⅓ innings.
Workman was just as ineffective this season. He signed with the Cubs in February and was released at the end of April. He returned to the Red Sox, then was released at the beginning of August.
Hembree signed with the Reds in March, was briefly their closer, was designated for assignment in August and latched on with the Mets.
The 25-year-old Seabold was the Phillies’ third-round pick in 2017 out of Cal State Fullerton. In eight starts at Triple A this season, he had a 3.67 ERA and 1.06 WHIP with more than a strikeout per inning. The Red Sox needed another starting pitcher when Chris Sale tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. Seabold is Boston's fifth-ranked pitching prospect, according to MLB.com.
Pivetta, currently on the COVID injured list but expected to return to the Red Sox rotation on Sunday, has had an up and down season. In 26 starts, he has a 4.67 ERA with 151 strikeouts and 62 walks in 135 innings. He has had a handful of stellar outings this season but has also gone fewer than five innings eight times.