Expect the Philadelphia Phillies to add these relievers to the bullpen

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Jul 27, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Brad Hand (52) throws against the Philadelphia Phillies during the ninth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Brad Hand would fit well with the Phillies next season

It wasn’t long ago that Brad Hand was one of the league’s best closers. In fact, you only need to go back to the 2020 season to find him posting excellent numbers. During the pandemic-shortened campaign, Hand saved a league-best 16 games for the Cleveland Baseball Club while posting a 2.05 ERA.

This wasn’t some sort of anomaly. Since becoming a full-time reliever in 2016, Hand had been one of the best both as a closer or a regular lefty reliever facing batters from both sides of the plate.

Hand is coming off of a strange year spent with three different teams. He began the year with the Washington Nationals as their closer, saving 21 games with a 3.59 ERA. He became a trade deadline piece sent to the Toronto Blue Jays where, after 8.2 innings, he was released. His season ended with the New York Mets where he didn’t close but did have a 2.70 ERA in 13.1 innings. It was a vast improvement over the 7.27 he had in Toronto.

I can’t see why Hand wouldn’t want to try his, uh, hand, at closing again. There’s probably a bad team out there willing to give him this opportunity. I don’t want to classify the Phillies as this. They have too many good players to think of the 2022 season as one to build rather than win.

Convincing Hand to sign with the Phillies might not be easy with no guarantee to close. Fortunately, there are two other relievers for the club to look at.