The San Diego Padres took a bold, but logical step when they decided to trade Brad Hand to the Cleveland Indians.
This morning, the San Diego Padres sent closer and two-time All-Star Brad Hand, as well as rookie pitcher Adam Cimber to the Cleveland Indians. In return, they gained a top-15 prospect in Francisco Mejia.
For the Padres, Mejia is a soon-to-be MLB ready catcher and someone who can push Austin Hedges to, hopefully, get his bat going. With this acquisition, the San Diego Padres now have 10 of baseball’s top 100 prospects.
These 10 prospects represent the future of the organization and the future looks extremely bright in San Diego. Of the 10 names listed here, Luis Urias and Meija will be in the Padres starting lineup soon, while the others aren’t far behind them.
Farewell Brad Hand
Hand came to San Diego as a waiver-claim from Miami and left as a two-time All-Star. This is an outstanding return on a minimal investment for the Padres, as no one expected him to become one of the top closers in MLB. Cleveland fans will get to enjoy his filthy slider for the next couple years, as he is under a very team friendly deal through the 2020 season, with a club option for 2021.
Hand’s numbers over the past two seasons were incredible. His ERA over 72 games last season was 2.16 and he struck out 104 batters in just 79 1/3 innings. This season, in just 44 1/3 innings, he has struck out 65 while owning a 3.05 ERA. He dominated hitters with his pitch mix in San Diego and will now get to potentially do the same in October as a member of the Indians organization.
Also heading to Cleveland is rookie pitcher Adam Cimber. With his submarine delivery and his funky footwork on the mound, Cimber has been one of the Padres’ most consistent bullpen pieces this season. The 27-year-old owns a 3.17 ERA in his first major league stint and has continually baffled hitters with his delivery and movement on his pitches.
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Cleveland fans should be excited to be adding two sensational pitchers to their bullpen, and strengthen a portion of their team that needed some reinforcements to help them compete for a World Series this year. It’s an extreme upgrade to a bullpen that is ranked dead last in the majors.
One question facing the Padres is, how will the bullpen shape up without Hand? The most likely candidate to become the closer is Kirby Yates, with Craig Stammen moving into the setup role. This trade will force the Padres to utilize younger arms such as Jose Castillo and Phil Maton to see what they can provide in higher leverage situations.
Trading Brad Hand might be a tough pill for some Padres fans to swallow, but when you see all of the talents in the farm system, it is difficult not to be excited about the future.
Farewell and good luck, Brad Hand!