The Manny Machado trade will not be the only big deal to go down during the All-Star break. Cleveland, in desperate need of relief pitching with Cody Allen struggling and Andrew Miller hurt, have made quite the move to shore up their bullpen in one fell swoop. Jon Heyman was the first to report that Brad Hand would be heading from San Diego to Cleveland in the deal. Ken Rosenthal added that reliever Adam Cimber would also be on the move. As for the return, The Padres are set to receive catching prospect Francisco Mejia. The deal looks like this:
San Diego receives:
The 28-year-old Hand is in the middle of another very good season. After totaling 3.2 WAR across nearly 170 innings the last two years, the lefty has put up an ERA and FIP right around three this season. He’s struck out 35% of batters and walked just 8% as the Padres closer. Hand signed a contract extension before the season started that will pay him a bit over $1 million the rest of this season and $13.5 million over the following two years, with a team option of $10 million for 2020 that can be bought out for one million dollars.
Cimber is a 27-year-old, right-handed rookie who gets his outs in an unusual fashion. The side-armer has 51 strikeouts against just 10 walks in 48.1 innings this season, and his ability to keep the ball on the ground and in the park has resulted in a fantastic 2.32 FIP to go along with a very good 3.17 ERA. Cleveland’s bullpen is now much stronger, and they are in position to have certainty at the end of the game in October, even if Miller and Allen can’t return to form.
The price for two good cost-controlled relievers was rather steep. In Mejia, the Padres are getting one of the better prospects in baseball. In the most recent update of their prospect list, Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel placed him at No. 22 overall. Before the season started, they expressed some concerns about Mejia’s ability to stay at catcher but noted that his bat was big-league ready. The 22-year-old has received minimal exposure at the major-league level but has a solid .279/.328/.426 line in Triple-A this season, 10% above league average. This is a pretty good return for the Padres.
Travis Sawchik will have more on this trade later.
Craig Edwards can be found on twitter @craigjedwards.