Phillies right-handed pitcher Nick Pivetta, who will turn 27 this offseason, is reportedly drawing frequent trade interest from multiple teams.
Outside of Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler and Jake Arrieta, who will be part of the 2020 Philadelphia Phillies starting rotation is anything but a definite.
Current options include southpaw Cole Irvin, as well as right-handers Zach Eflin, Vince Velasquez, and Nick Pivetta. Pivetta, in particular, has interesting value in which he has value as both a starting pitcher and relief pitcher; In 24 2/3 innings out of the bullpen in 2019, he struck out 31 batters.
The right-hander has so much upside, that according to The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, “teams have called often to inquire” about him, and that the Phillies might look to package him in a deal with a few mid-level prospects to “secure a pitching upgrade in the majors.”
Pivetta, who will turn 27 on February 14, has yet to have a winning win-loss record in each of his three seasons in the majors. After going 8-10 with a 6.02 ERA in 133 innings as a rookie, Pivetta went 7-14 with a 4.77 ERA in 164 innings in 2018, and 4-6 with a 5.38 ERA in 93 2/3 innings this past season.
Pivetta is known for his heat; according to Major League Baseball’s Sarah Langs, he has the most 95+ miles per hour pitches by a Phillies starting pitcher in a season in the pitch-tracking era (since 2008). This came in 2018, when Pivetta threw 706 such pitches.
The Victoria, Canada, native was drafted in the fourth round of the 2013 draft out of New Mexico Junior College by the Washington Nationals. Nearly two years later, the Phillies acquired Pivetta in exchange for franchise saves leader Jonathan Papelbon and cash.
In order for the Phillies to stay under the luxury tax, while still upgrading their team this offseason, they will have to be creative in trades. Perhaps dealing Pivetta is part of that plan.