The San Diego Padres got a steal by re-signing one of the best relief pitchers in baseball for just $9 million over the next two years.
As the San Diego Padres continue to put together one of the best bullpens in all of baseball, they made another great addition by bringing back reliever Craig Stammen on a two-year deal worth $9 million, which also includes a $4 million team option for a third year with a $1 million buyout.
Ken Rosenthal reported that the deal also allows him to make up to $500,000 each year in incentives, meaning he could make a total of $13.5 million over the next three seasons.
When you consider what some of the other top relievers in baseball have gotten this offseason, it makes you appreciate this deal for Stammen even more.
MLB Trade Rumors had him signing for two years and $10 million, which is essentially what he’s guaranteed if the third year option isn’t picked up.
Will Harris is a pretty comparable pitcher to Stammen and he just got 3 years and $24 million from the Washington Nationals.
Stammen has been one of the best relief pitchers in all of baseball since coming back from injury from the 2017 season.
In those last three seasons he has a combined ERA of 3.06 with a WHIP of 1.13 and 235 strikeouts in 241.1 innings pitched.
He hasn’t posted an ERA over four in any season since 2010, and he’s had five seasons of an ERA below three.
His K/9 of 8.01 in 2019 is about average, but he doesn’t issue any walks with a 4.4 percent walk rate last year and 6.8 for his career.
Stammen induces ground balls nearly 50 percent of the time as he throws his sinker nearly 68 percent of the time. And his hard-hit percentage of 31.7 percent in 2019 was very good when you consider that Josh Hader‘s hard-hit rate in 2019 was 36.2 percent.
The velocity on his sinker remains in the low-to-mid 90s and hasn’t shown signs of dropping off.
There really is no reason to believe that Stammen won’t continue to be a very good arm in the bullpen for at least the next two seasons, and to be able to lock him up at that price is indeed a steal for the Padres.