San Diego Padres: Craig Stammen May Be Next To Go

After trading Brad Hand and Adam Cimber to Cleveland, Craig Stammen may be the next San Diego Padres reliever to go.

Craig Stammen has pitched exceedingly well for the San Diego Padres this season. He is currently 4-1 with a 2.76 ERA and an even more impressive 1.97 FIP. Across 49 innings pitched, Stammen has struck out more than 27% of opposing hitters, while limiting his walk rate to a near-career low of 5%.

Stammen struggled around the All-Star break, as did much of the taxed San Diego Padres bullpen. Over his final seven innings before the break, Stammen gave up four runs on 11 hits. He did, however, strike out five Chicago hitters in a two-inning stint against the Cubs before heading home for a few days.

The All-Star break couldn’t have come at a better time for Stammen, allowing him to rest and return to his peak form that has produced a 1.5 WAR out of the bullpen.

Since the second half of the season commenced, Stammen has yet to concede a run. In 2 2/3 innings, he has given up one hit, one walk, and has struck out four.

San Diego Padres must trade Craig Stammen.

At 34 years of age, there’s no reason for the Padres to keep Stammen. He has put together a string of positive outings and will have a few more chances to showcase his stuff before the Padres have to make a move at the deadline.

Every single contender is still in play for Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton, as teams continue to scour the market for bullpen help. Once he’s off the market, expect a flurry of moves being made involving middle relief/setup arms. Stammen brings one year of control at just over $2.2 million but he’s 34 and you have to wonder if he can produce a 2019 season that looks like his 2018 has.

The best move may be for the Friars to package Stammen along with Tyson Ross for another top 100 prospect. With neither arm coming with much certainty, San Diego could easily offer a mid-level prospect into the package, like one of the ten prospects who will be facing the Rule-5 draft in December.

It’s a seller’s market for controllable relief arms. While the Padres can’t expect anything close to the return they received for Brad Hand, they can acquire some much-needed help for a pitcher in Stammen who has been solid but doesn’t fit into the “2020 plan.”