San Diego Padres rumors: The Friars have offered Garrett Richards a contract.
After days of Padres rumors surrounding Noah Syndergaard, Jon Heyman of Fancred dropped a nugget just moments ago, tweeting that the Padres and Dodgers have offered free agent starting pitcher Garrett Richards a contract, with the Dodgers currently “making a push” to bring the 30-year-old right-handed pitcher to Los Angeles.
**UPDATE- Jon Heyman is now reporting that Garret Richards and the Padres have reached an agreement.**
Here’s the thing with Garrett Richards, he more than likely won’t pitch in 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in mid-July of this season. It is one of several injuries that has severely limited his playing time over the past three season. He started just six games in 2016 after suffering UCL damage, but avoiding Tommy John surgery. Richards returned in 2017, but again made just six starts and suffered from nerve damage in his bicep.
Before going under the knife, Richards made 16 starts for the Angels, compiling a 5-4 record, 3.66 ERA, and 1.28 WHIP. Home runs were an issue for Richards (career-high 1.30 HR/9), however, he was striking out a career-high 27% of hitters he faced and his velocity had recovered to his 2014 numbers, averaging 96 mph with his fastball.
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When healthy, Richards has shown that he is a pitcher that can hold his own at the top of a major league rotation. Just look at his 2014 numbers: 13-4, 2.61 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 5 home runs allowed, 168 IP. The obvious problem is that he is rarely healthy.
He relied more heavily on his slider in 2018, a lethal pitch in his repertoire. Opponents hit just .144 against his slider, Richard’s most oft-used pitch (39%). It produced a healthy 45% whiff rate.
Making a move for Richards would give the Padres a veteran pitcher to look forward to in 2020 at a very cheap price, a date the San Diego front office keeps pushing as the beginning of contention for this franchise.
It is a low-risk move, however, if the Dodgers are going to be aggressive for Richards, ideally, the Padres don’t try to outbid for his services, a year down the road. MLBTradeRumors projects Richards to receive a two-year/$10 million deal, but that could be higher, because of the success he has had.
What do you think, Padres fans? Would you be in for signing Garrett Richards? Stay tuned for more Padres rumors as the hot stove appears to be heating up on this Thursday afternoon!