Nick Pivetta, Boston Red Sox
A few years ago, Nick Pivetta was a part of the Phillies’ starting rotation for over a span of three years between 2017 to 2019. Unfortunately for both Pivetta and the Phillies, they weren’t his best years in his career, as overall, he cumulatively pitched to a 19-30 losing record, with a 5.50 ERA, 78 ERA+, and 1.43 WHIP, but he did possess a strong strikeout rate with 421 punchouts over 396.1 innings pitched. Ultimately, his tenure with the ballclub ended when he was traded during the COVID-shortened 2020 season to the Boston Red Sox, which netted the Phillies Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree.
Both Workman and Hembree turned out to be disastrous acquisitions for the Phillies. Not only did they perform poorly, they were non-tendered following the conclusion of the 2020 season, so practically it felt like the Phillies handed Pivetta over to the Red Sox for free. Pivetta, on the other hand, has gone on to become a solid contributor in the Red Sox’s starting rotation for the next two years, making the trade one the Phillies wished never happened.
For 2023, Pivetta had a slow start coming out of the gate as a starter, but has quickly turned it around in recent weeks after being used now primarily as a reliever. In his last 12 appearances, he holds a 2-2 record with two holds, along with a stellar 2.28 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, giving up only six earned runs with 12 walks and 33 strikeouts in just 23.2 innings pitched. More importantly, opponents have just a .124 batting average against him during that stretch.
With Pivetta having totally reinvented himself into a highly effective leverage reliever, along with the ability to easily move back into a starting role if needed, he should therefore be a valuable trade target come the 2023 trade deadline. It didn’t work so well for him the first time around with the Phillies, so this can become his redemption year with the team if the Phillies can acquire his services for the rest of the season.