The Philadelphia Phillies bullpen in 2020 made all of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitchers look like Cy Young candidates. None of their relief pitchers had both 15 innings in a Phillies uniform, and an ERA under 4.
Their bullpen had a 7.06 ERA, 5.56 FIP and surrendered over two home runs per 9 innings. Their mid-season addition of Brandon Workman did not work out as planned, as he struggled, and is now a free agent. They also had five total pitchers with at least 5 innings and an ERA above 7.
Needless to say, they need some bullpen help, and badly. But the Phillies aren’t going to be able to go all in on an elite relief pitcher like Liam Hendriks or Kirby Yates as they could run into an issue when it comes to payroll.
They already have Bryce Harper locked up to a monster contract, and could add another huge one if they resign JT Realmuto long term. Jean Segura, Zack Wheeler and Andrew McCutchen are being paid a fair amount in 2021, and could make a large sum of money in 2022 as well. Don’t forget about Didi Gregorious too, who’s also a 2020-2021 free agent they could go after seeing as they don’t have a good answer at shortstop right now. With all of this, the Pittsburgh Pirates could match up with their cross-state foes in a Rodriguez trade.