The Padres made a trade earlier in the offseason, acquiring lefty reliever Patrick Schuster in exchange for righty Anthony Bass. The deal was an interesting one, as Schuster was the first overall pick in the rule 5 draft. Schuster will be competing for a spot this spring in the San Diego bullpen. At this point in time, Schuster is the only left handed reliever on the Padres 40-man roster. Schuster has welcomed the opportunity but still has no experience above the High-A level. General Manager Josh Byrnes has gone on record to say that the Padres are interested in adding another left handed reliever to the bullpen. A worthy candidate could be former Diamondbacks and Indians reliever Tony Sipp.
Sipp, 30, has never thrown less than 37.2 major league innings at any point in his 5-year career. His story begins when he was drafted out of Clemson University in the 45th round by the Cleveland Indians. In his first four seasons with the Indians, he threw 220.1 innings, striking out 225 and posting a 3.68 ERA. After four seasons of pitching out of the Cleveland bullpen, Sipp was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a 3-way trade involving Shin-Soo Choo and Trevor Bauer. In Sipp’s first season as a Diamondback, he posted a 3-2 record and an ERA of 4.78, throwing his way out of an Arizona Diamondbacks uniform. He was designated for assignment before being granted free agency this November. Chris Cotillo reported that Sipp was drawing interest on the free agent market this offseason, but he was not close on a contract. Could the Padres be one of those teams?
Interestingly, in his career, he has been very similar against right handed and left handed hitters, holding righties to a .209/.324/.399 line and lefties to a .224/.306/.426 line. The reason I suggest that the Padres sign someone who has been mediocre for quite some time now, is that he could possibly be acquired on a minor league deal. A minor league deal with an invite to spring training and possibly an opt out clause for Sipp would be a very risk free move. The Padres wouldn’t have to burn a valued 40-man roster spot on Sipp, if they signed him to a minor league contract.