With the bullpen being a major concern for the Padres heading into 2016 (as well as shortstop of course), one option that has emerged is veteran reliever Tommy Hunter. As reported by Jeff Sanders, the Padres might be able to get Hunter relatively inexpensive and count on Petco Park ticking down some of his numbers. Plus he would move from the AL East to the NL West and “friendly confines” of Wrigley most recently to the spacious confines of Petco.
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Hunter came up to the majors as a starter in 2008 with Texas and shipped over to Baltimore early in his career. However, he has pitched exclusively out of the bullpen since 2012. He even saved 11 games for the O’s in 2014. After two stellar years out of the ‘pen in 2013 and 2014, he seemed to regress some in 2015 and was sent to Chicago to finish out the year where he made 19 appearances.
However, as Sanders argues his velocity was up to 2013 levels and and with other peripherals like K and homer-to-flyball ratio’s increased, it might have been more bad luck than actual regression.
He is currently being courted by the Indians and Tigers as well so it remains to see where the Padres will come in, but it could be a good “buy low” option for the Padres and A.J. Preller.