The San Diego Padres have somewhat firm grounds for complaint after the whole Sean Manaea debacle. A.J. Preller thought the Oakland Athletics were trading away a game-changing pitcher, and he soon found out that Manaea was not equipped to handle the demands of stabilizing a playoff rotation.
While the Padres didn’t give up any huge names to acquire Manaea, they likely were disappointed that Manaea’s ERA was just south of 5.00. The left-hander was even moved to the bullpen for a brief period in an attempt to get some value out of him.
With Nick Martinez coming back and San Diego using most of their available funds to bring in Xander Bogaerts, there was a minimal chance of Manaea ever returning to the Padres. His departure has been confirmed, and he’s trying to head to one of the Padres’ chief rivals.
Manaea signed a two-year deal with the San Francisco Giants worth $25 million, though he does have an opt-out after the first season. While the Giants think he’ll make for a solid addition behind Logan Webb and (potentially) Carlos Rodon, Manaea’s impact on San Francisco may be overstated.
Former Padres SP Sean Manaea signed with the Giants.
While Petco Park has a reputation as a safe haven for pitchers, the uniquely large foul ground dimensions in Oakland’s Coliseum have helped many standard arms put up above-average numbers. In much the same way Frankie Montas struggled with the Yankees, Manaea fell off in San Diego.
Manaea has a 3.69 ERA at the Coliseum, but a career 4.06 ERA. That ballpark might be the difference between above-average and average production. San Francisco is spacious, but those big gaps in left-center and right-center could still be a problem for a pitcher like Manaea who was hit hard last year.
Even though the Padres were unable to bring back Mike Clevinger and missed out on Kodai Senga, they were understandably going to have some reservations about paying $25 million for a pitcher who may not even be good enough to enter their playoff rotation. Manaea’s prime may be ending, as he is turning 31 in February.
Losing a player to a division rival is always going to sting, but Manaea was far from an indispensable piece for this Padres franchise. The Giants appear to be serious about making a postseason push, but Manaea is not going to move the needle much in 2023 for a team that still needs more impact bats.