San Diego Padres: Grading the offseason relief pitching additions

TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 07: Pitcher Kazuhisa Makita
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 07: Pitcher Kazuhisa Makita /

In the slowest offseason in memory let’s take a look at the Padre relief pitching additions.

Since we are discussing relief pitching, we should send a deserved and overdue congratulations to the best relief pitcher in San Diego Padres history, Trevor Hoffman. Congratulations to Trevor on the Hall Of Fame # 51.

In this article, we will discuss the additions made and give a grade for those added. It will also show what the pen could look like come opening day as well.

Since the start of the off-season began, general manager A.J. Preller and the front office only had a few things to consider for this Hot Stove season.

They needed to find a couple of inexpensive starting pitching options to go with the leftover options from last year. They also need to upgrade the bullpen with a few additions that also wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Finally, the team needed to shed some of the infield and outfield depth to upgrade the big league roster, while continuing to have one of the better and deeper farm systems.

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With the first wave of prospects less than a year away, my first article grading the starting pitching showed the depth created and showed there wasn’t a real need for starters this year.

This article will show the depth created and that this bullpen will be better than last years bullpen. It already has a better feel than last years because of the roles being a little more defined.

Giving a contract extension to arguably one of the best relief pitchers over the last two years in Brad Hand was a great move, especially when you consider what other relievers have been getting paid this off-season. The relief market has been by far the busiest of the Hot Stove season.

Re-signing Craig Stammen was an absolute must for this team. He was the teams best reliever not named Hand. His numbers after a disastrous first month prove that fact well.

Dipping into the Japan market for one their best relievers in Kasuhisa Makita was another under the radar upgrade. They also signed a career minor league pitcher, Colten Brewer, to a guaranteed Major League deal

While none of the mentioned moves would represent an earth-shattering, game-changing type of acquisition, they do make the team better. It gives them depth and therefore strength in numbers.

And in having roles defined it gives them a leg up starting this season. Unlike last year at this time when there were no clear-cut roles. It wasn’t until after the season began that we started to see which roles each reliever would play.

San Diego Padres- Relief pitching grade A:


  1. Brad Hand


  1. Craig Stammen

Free agent signings:

  1. Kasuhisa Makita
  2. Colten Brewer

Bullpen Projections Opening Day

Under consideration:

  1. LH-Jose Torres
  2. LH-Kyle McGrath
  3. LH-Brad Wieck
  4. RH-Phil Maton
  5. RH-Adam Cimber
  6. RH-Trey Wingenter
  7. RH-Carter Capps

There are others who could be mentioned here as well, but I will save some of those names for future articles.

Well, Padre fans, do you like how this year’s bullpen stacks up in comparison to that of last year? I think they have better talent and more depth, but because of that extensive depth, they also have some tough choices to make before now and opening day.

Next: Will 2018 be a rebound season for Clayton Richard?

Friar Faithful, what grade would you give the relief pitching additions? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.