Whether or not the Phillies can pull off any more trades before today’s 4 p.m. deadline, they’ve already gotten good value out of their deal with the Red Sox.
Matt Klentak completed the trade 10 days before the deadline, sending Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold to Boston for relievers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree. Workman has appeared five times, and while he’s been shaky and put multiple men on base each time, he’s saved three of those games and the Phillies have won four of them.
Heath Hembree has had two strong appearances, stranding two runners in scoring position and picking up five huge outs in his Phillies debut last weekend, then pitching a scoreless 10th inning a few games later despite opening the frame with a ghost runner on second base.
The Phillies wouldn’t have followed five straight losses with five straight wins without them.
“I think it was really important. Matt recognized that and jumped on it as quickly as he could,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said Sunday afternoon. “It’s paid dividends. We might have been one of those other teams had we not done that.”
By “one of those other teams,” Girardi meant sellers. The Phillies will not be selling today after reaching second place in the NL East, a playoff position in 2020.
Will they make any more moves to shore up the bullpen or add a starting pitcher? They do, after all, have five doubleheaders in September and the need for a sixth and perhaps even seventh starter at times.
“We could (have a bullpen game in) maybe one or two of those doubleheaders because we’ve got some guys in our bullpen that can give us some distance,” Girardi said. “But hey, if something falls in your lap, it falls in your lap.
“I like how our team stacks up. I look at our rotation, I think it’s been one of our strengths. That, to me, is very exciting. I like our team. We just need to continue doing the little things we’re doing to win games.
“I think we always look to get better. It always takes two to tango. I can’t tell you if we’re done.”
We’ll know soon enough. Keep in mind that trades cannot be made after Aug. 31 this year. It is a hard deadline, unlike seasons past when trades could be made after the non-waiver trade deadline.