The Boston Red Sox announced they acquired James Norwood from the Philadelphia Phillies for cash considerations.
Norwood has made 20 relief appearances for Philadelphia this season, allowing 16 earned runs over 17.1 innings. The Phillies had designated the right-hander for assignment.
The Phillies transformed their bullpen in the offseason in an attempt to address their most glaring flaw. Brad Hand, Jeurys Familia and Corey Knebel were among the multiple free-agent relievers who signed with Philadelphia.
Still, the bullpen remains an area of weakness.
Norwood undoubtedly had a hand in the unit's struggles, though his eye-popping 8.31 ERA is a bit deceiving. According to FanGraphs, he has a 4.27 xERA and a 3.65 FIP.
Opposing hitters have a .423 average on balls in play, which is partially attributable to the Phillies ranking 25th in FanGraphs' defensive runs above average metric. The Red Sox, by contrast, are fifth.
At 35-30, Boston is fourth in the American League East but only 0.5 games off the pace for the final wild-card spot in the AL. The team has a 62.8 percent chance on Baseball Prospectus of reaching the playoffs.
Matt Barnes isn't pitching well and remains on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation. With Barnes a clear question mark right now, Norwood is a low-cost solution to fortify the Red Sox bullpen, and he might benefit from the change of scenery.