The Philadelphia Phillies were in desperate need of relief pitching, so they gave the Boston Red Sox a ring.
By night’s end, they had landed a pair of now-former Sox relievers who were among the team’s longest-tenured bullpen arms. Boston sent Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree and cash consideration to Philly in exchange for Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold, both of whom are right-handed starting pitchers.
The Red Sox had a need both at the Major and Minor League levels for starting pitching depth. Pivetta is more big league ready, having made 92 big league appearances (71 starts), while Seabold is the more high-upside option of the two, but hasn’t played in MLB just yet.
Pivetta, 27, has a 19-30 record with a 5.50 ERA over his Major League career, going 0-0 with a 15.88 ERA in three appearances with the Phillies this season, none of which were starts.
“Obviously, (Pivetta) has some Major League time under his belt,” Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said Friday evening. “He’s a big, physical power pitcher. He’s got a really good fastball, good breaking ball. He also has a changeup. A guy who’s shown the ability to carry a starter’s workload, and a lot of the underlying traits there have shown the potential for a lot more success than he’s enjoyed in terms of his results. Again, power pitcher who we think should be capable of holding down a rotation spot, and really feel like he’s a good fit going forward and that we’ve got a chance to help him reach a level that he has not yet in his career, despite his big stuff.”
Seabold, 24, is 11-10 with a 3.52 ERA across all minor league levels. The highest he pitched last season was Double-A, where he went 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA in seven appearances. He projects to be a middle- to backend of the rotation starter in the majors.
“Spent last year in Double-A and finished in the Arizona Fall League. Fourth-round pick a few years ago by the Phillies,” Bloom said. “Starting pitching prospect who really has good feel to pitch, an arsenal that should work against both sides. Quality pitches, including a changeup. And again really knows how to pitch, how to use his stuff and really nice addition to starting pitching depth in the upper levels of our system.”
Both players will report to the Red Sox’s alternate spring training site. It’s unclear if the Red Sox have plans to call up Pivetta soon, but he has not pitched in a game since August 10.