Phillies: Nick Pivetta drew trade interest from another team
By Matt Rappa
The Philadelphia Phillies reportedly drew trade interest in right-handed pitcher Nick Pivetta last summer from another American League East club. According to The Athletic’s Peter Gammons, the Tampa Bay Rays “tried hard” to beat out Boston Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom, believing the right-hander could be “another Tyler Glasnow.”
The Phillies acquired Nick Pivetta in a July 2015 trade with their division rival.
Pivetta, who will turn 28 this weekend, was drafted in the fourth round of the 2013 draft by the Washington Nationals. After two-plus seasons in their system, the Nationals dealt the right-hander to the Phillies in exchange for their franchise saves leader, Jonathan Papelbon.
The Canada native went on to debut in April 2017. He did not exactly have a strong rookie showing, going 8-10 with a 6.02 ERA and 1.511 WHIP across 26 starts, although he did strike out 140 batters in 133 innings.
Nick Pivetta never reached his full potential with the Phillies.
Pivetta’s best season to date occurred the following year, when he recorded a 4.77 ERA, 1.305 WHIP, and 188-51 strikeouts-to-walks ratio across 33 appearances (32 starts) and 164 innings. In the final year under manager Gabe Kapler in 2019, Pivetta regressed back to his rookie form with a 5-plus ERA and 1.500-plus WHIP. Almost half of his 30 appearances came out of the bullpen.
Then, after three relief appearances in 2020, recording a 15.88 ERA and 1.941 WHIP in 5 2/3 innings, the right-hander would be dealt to the Red Sox. The Phillies also sent prospect Connor Seabold to the club, and in return received much-needed bullpen additions of Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree. But, as the Phillies would soon find out, Workman and Hembree ended up causing more harm than good in an already-struggling bullpen.
The Phillies finished the shortened 2020 slate with the highest bullpen ERA over the past 90 seasons in Major League Baseball history. If then-general manager Matt Klentak could go back time, he surely would re-do the deal and instead trade Pivetta to the eventual American League champion Rays. Plus, who knows if Seabold would have been necessary to include in the swap, considering the Rays fought hard to land Pivetta.
As for the Rays official comparing Pivetta to Glasnow, the latter pitcher has gone a combined 11-2 with a 2.90 ERA and 1.008 WHIP over the past two seasons and 23 starts, striking out 167 batters and walking just 36.
Pivetta has a ways to go to reach that level of success, although, the former Phillies pitcher recorded two strong starts in a Red Sox uniform following the trade — going 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA across 10 innings. Time will tell if he will be able to carry over that success into the 2021 season.