ADDITION BY SUBTRACTION: PHILS FINALLY GIVE UP ON NICK PIVETTA!

By Harvey Hoffman

The Nick Pivetta era is over.

Why did it take this long for the Phillies to realize it needed to end?

They finally rid themselves of Pivetta, whom boy genius GM Matt Klentak thought was the second coming of Robin Roberts, in a trade for Red Sox closer Brandon Workman and right-hander Heath Hembree, plus $800,000 and a future player to be named or more cash.

Pivetta and and right-hander Connor Seabold, a promising prospect ranked 23rd in the Phillies’ system, went to the Sox. The cash in the Boston trade kept the Phillies just below the luxury tax threshold, which they have worked to stay below.

It means the Phillies could be finished making moves before the Aug. 31 Trade Deadline.

“You have to give something to get something and there are not a lot of quality relievers available right now in this market,” Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said about the trades. “We think we’re reading the market and trying to get a jump on it because I don’t know that there will be a lot of relievers that change hands in the next 10 days.”

The improvements were desperately needed. The Phillies did not address their bullpen in the offseason, and it came back to bite them. The bullpen entered Friday with an 8.07 ERA through 21 games, which was the highest mark in baseball. No Phillies bullpen had a higher ERA through 21 games since 1938 (10.26 ERA), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

It is unclear how Phillies manager Joe Girardi will use Workman, who is the biggest piece in the deals. He could close or set up Héctor Neris. Workman, 32, has a 4.05 ERA and four saves in seven appearances this season. He went 10-1 with a 1.88 ERA and 16 saves in 73 appearances last year. He will be a free agent after the season.

Hembree, 31, is a hard thrower with his fastball averaging 94 mph. He is 2-0 with a 5.59 ERA in 11 appearances. He went 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in 45 appearances last year. He cannot become a free agent until after the 2021 season.

Workman and Hembree could join the Phillies before the end of the weekend. Hale could be in the bullpen today.

Pivetta never matched his talents with any consistency. He lost his job in the rotation and bounced around from the bullpen to Triple-A, including this year. Scouts like Seabold, but the Phillies needed to do something to improve the ‘pen and he proved to be the cost of doing business.

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