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.
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.