Padres: Mychal Givens trade would provide boost to bullpen

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

One name that looks to be a certain trade chip is Mychal Givens. He would be a great option for the back end of the Padres bullpen.

Given how much this Padres bullpen has struggled during the first half of the 2020 shortened season, a bullpen arm (or two) seem to be on general manager AJ Preller’s wishlist before the August 31 deadline. And while the team had an unexpected off day on Tuesday, they will need to gear up for the final 29 games, and hopefully, a deep postseason run.

With Kirby Yates likely done for the year, Emilio Pagan‘s struggles and noted pitching through pain, and Drew Pomeranz still not back from the 10-day IL, the Padres should look into a trade with Baltimore Orioles reliever Mychal Givens. The team’s closer of the 2019 season collected 11 saves to the tune of a 4.57 ERA in 58 appearances. But he’s performed much better this year, primarily providing relief in the 7th and 8th innings.

He has a 1.38 ERA in 12 appearances for the Orioles club with an absurd 13.2 K/BB. He’s posting a career-best 1.000 WHIP since his rookie year in 2015, fanning 19 batters to only six walks. If acquired, the Padres would also have him for another year, as he hits the free-agent market after the 2021 season.

Givens, 30, features a four-pitch arsenal: four-seam fastball (67.7%), slider (17.9%). changeup (14%), and sinker (0.4%). He’s thrown just one sinker this season, but his three other pitchers have been lethal against the opposition, holding batters to under a .170 average on all three. Givens’ slider has a 37.5 whiff rate, according to StatCast, generating a ton of soft contact as well-79.4 MPH average exit velocity.

It’s a seller’s market, and Givens is a hot commodity for many clubs looking for relief help. Given where the Orioles are in terms of their rebuild, they have little in terms of infield help that is projected to be ready before 2023. And while we recently discussed that the Padres shouldn’t be shopping him, I have Gabriel Arias sent over this deal, straight up.

Baseball Trade Values slightly favors the Orioles in this particular trade (7.9 to 6.3) but gives the Padres a reliable bullpen arm for the remainder of this year and all of next year.