The Philadelphia Phillies have signed another veteran free agent to bolster their bullpen. The Phillies have agreed to a one-year deal with southpaw Brad Hand, reports ESPN's Jeff Passan. The contract is worth $6 million. The team has not yet confirmed the signing.
Hand, 31 and a three-time All-Star, spent last season with three teams (Nationals, Blue Jays, Mets), throwing 64 2/3 innings with a 3.90 ERA and 61 strikeouts. His velocity dipped and his trademark slider missed fewer bats in 2020. The trend then continued in 2021. At this point Hand fits best as a lefty matchup guy rather than a high-leverage option.
- Closer: RHP Corey Knebel
- Setup: RHP Jeurys Familia and LHP Brad Hand
- Middle: LHP José Alvarado, RHP Connor Brogdon, RHP Sam Coonrod, RHP Seranthony Domínguez
- Depth: RHP Yoan López, RHP Nick Nelson, LHP Ryan Sherriff
The Phillies are unwilling to exceed the $230 million luxury tax threshold, reports The Athletic's Matt Gelb, giving the club about $36 million to spend following the Hand signing. With that they need at least one outfielder, preferably two, as well as help on the left side of the infield. More pitching depth is never a bad idea either.
A year ago the Phillies went 82-80 and finished in second place in the NL East. They have not qualified for the postseason since 2011 and have the second-longest postseason drought in baseball, behind only the Mariners. The postseason expanded to 12 teams this year, giving Philadelphia a better chance to end that drought.