Nationals

Ex-Nats reliever Brad Hand signs with Phillies, returns to NL East

Nationals

Brad Hand is set to make his return to the NL East, as the Philadelphia Phillies have inked the lefty reliever to a one-year, $6 million deal per Jeff Passan of ESPN.

Hand will land on his third team in the division in a year after spending time with both the Nationals and the Mets during the 2021 campaign. Hand originally signed with Washington on a one-year, $10.5 million deal last January. He was traded to Toronto after just 41 appearances, however.

Hand struggled to find his footing with the Nationals. He posted a 3.59 ERA with the squad but had trouble finding the strike zone in repeated instances, ultimately blowing five save opportunities during his stint in Washington.

He was traded to Toronto in July as part of a fire sale at the trade deadline for catcher Riley Adams, who flashed potential for Washington. Adams batted .268 with 19 hits and a .887 OPS in just 35 appearances for the Nats last year. 

Meanwhile, Hand was designated for assignment by Toronto after posting a 7.27 ERA in 11 appearances up north. He was then acquired by the New York Mets, where he accumulated a 2.70 ERA over 13.1 innings pitched.

Now, Hand will arrive on his fourth team in 14 months. Philadelphia will hope Hand can stabilize their late-game pitching, which struggled last season as the team posted the league’s sixth-worst bullpen ERA per Covers.com