The free-agent southpaw reliever market is dwindling and the Phillies just came away with one of the best remaining names in Brad Hand.
Philadelphia signed the veteran lefty to a one-year, $6 million pact on Monday, according to multiple reports, in hopes that he can reclaim the stuff that made him one of the best bullpen arms in the league.
The 31-year-old truly came into his own in 2017 with the San Diego Padres before getting sent to the Cleveland franchise midway through the following season. Over a five-season stretch through 2020, Hand posted a 2.70 ERA, 104 saves, a 1.066 WHIP, and a ratio of 12.2 strikeouts per nine innings.
He signed with the Washington Nationals at the start of the 2021 season on a one-year, $10.5 million deal, but he and the Nats didn’t live up to expectations. After going 5-5 with a 3.59 ERA and 21 saves, he was dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays where things got even worse as he gave up seven earned runs in 11 innings pitched.
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Hand was quickly flipped to the New York Mets where he stabilized with a 2.70 ERA over 16 appearances.
The Phillies are in desperate need of a bullpen overhaul after their relief staff owned a 4.60 ERA — sixth-worst in Major League Baseball.
This offseason has already featured the acquisitions of Corey Knebel and Jeurys Familia in an attempt to move things in the right direction in a National League East division that seems awfully top-heavy with the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves preparing for an assault by the reloaded New York Mets.