As the Padres turn their attention to their to-do list this offseason, Kevin Gausman is a good option to pursue for a few reasons.
Padres general manager AJ Preller indicated in a year-end Zoom meeting that the ballclub had a few things on their to-do list. Unlike previous offseasons, that list is much shorter, as most of the 2020 squad figures to be back.
We’ve discussed a few of the items that will need to be addressed, mostly determining if Jurickson Profar is worth extending or he has outpriced himself of San Diego’s range?
Also, the team might look at adding another starter to the mix. For me, Kevin Gausman is a great middle to back-end of the rotation kind of guy as a free-agent signing. The almost 30-year-old will not break the bank and eat some innings for a team that endured a bunch of bullpen days.
Over a 162-game schedule in 2021, that won’t fly. Here’s why Gausman to the Padres makes perfect sense.
1. Insurance for rotation
The pair could very well be just fine next season, but Gausman would be an excellent insurance measure. And prior to the financial impacts on the COVID-shortened season, Gausman made a team-friendly $9M.
2. Outstanding year with Giants
Gausman had a bounceback year, of sorts, in San Francisco. As noted, he signed a one-year deal last offseason after spending the 2019 season split between the Braves and the Reds. The year before, split between the Orioles and Braves.
With the Giants, Gausman posted a 3.62 ERA in 12 appearances – including 10 starts – with 79 strikeouts in 59.2 innings. He had career-bests in WHIP (1.106), K/9 (11.9), and FIP (3.09).
3. Can pitch from bullpen if needed
Preller noted that the Padres would be looking to add to the bullpen next year, so signing Gausman could serve two purposes. If the Padres top two starters remain healthy all year and Adrian Morejon slots into the fifth starter role next year, Gausman would be a welcome improvement over Craig Stammen.
He mostly pitched in relief with the Reds in 2019, posting a 4.03 ERA in 15 appearances, fanning 29 in 22.1 innings.