A closer look at the Drew Pomeranz signing

Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Credit: AP Photo

Taking a closer look at the Drew Pomeranz signing that was made by the San Diego Padres. 

It was announced Wednesday morning that the San Diego Padres signed left-handed relief pitcher Drew Pomeranz to a four-year/$34 million deal. The prized lefty surely comes at a high price to the Friars, as $34 million is a lot to give a player who is only going to pitch one or two innings a few times per week.

Let’s take a closer examination at this deal.

Fans may remember Pomeranz from his short stint in San Diego in 2016. As a member of the San Diego Padres, Pomeranz recorded a 2.47 ERA, 1.059 WHIP, and struck out 115 batters in 102 innings before being dealt to the Boston Red Sox. He also pitched a scoreless 4th inning in the 2016 All-Star game at Petco Park.

Things took a turn for the worse for Pomeranz following the trade. His 2017 season was good, but the injury bug hit him in 2018 and again in early 2019. In 77.2 innings in 2019 before the trade deadline, he had a 5.68 ERA and a 1.609 WHIP. He was traded from the San Francisco Giants to the Milwaukee Brewers on July 31st.

The Milwaukee Brewers decided to move Pomeranz to the bullpen full time, and it paid off. Pomeranz resurrected himself, posting a 2.39 ERA in 26.1 innings. He had an eye-popping 45 strikeouts in this timeframe as well. The Brewers focused more on using his curveball as opposed to the changeup, which was a less effective pitch. His fastball also rose in velocity from an average of 92 mph, to an average of 94 mph. This is the Drew Pomeranz that the San Diego Padres are hoping for in 2020.

If Drew Pomeranz keeps his form from the end of 2019, there will be no complaints about the hefty amount of money the San Diego Padres are paying him. However, it is a bit concerning that the Padres are paying a pitcher who had a 6.08 ERA in 2018 $34 million. He also happens to be 31 years old. The Padres are paying him based on two outstanding months and are seemingly ignoring the four months before to the trade. It seems like that type of pitcher may be gone, but the old Pomeranz could appear at any moment.


It is also worth noting that Drew Pomeranz did not fare well against the NL West in 2019. Pomeranz had 4.40 ERA against the Arizona Diamondbacks, a 3.31 ERA against the Colorado Rockies, and a 5.89 ERA against the Los Angeles Dodgers. That should be concerning because these are the teams that the Pomeranz the San Diego Padres will face the most.

The southpaw can hopefully build off of a successful ending to 2019 and help the San Diego Padres reach October for the first time since 2006. He will likely pitch before Kirby Yates in the 8th inning, which could be very lethal. He and Andres Munoz will probably take turns setting up Yates.

The Pomeranz signing for this price is risky, but risks must be taken to bring home championships. At four-years/$34 million, Pomeranz is an expensive weapon at the hands of manager Jayce Tingler. If used correctly, Drew Pomeranz could be an anchor to a strong bullpen.

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Dominic Stearn
Dominic is currently a Freshman at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He was formerly a Staff Writer for Pulse Magazine, writing about the Padres, the MLB, and the NFL.

4 thoughts on “A closer look at the Drew Pomeranz signing

  1. I think we overpaid drastically. I hope he holds up and this isn’t a 1yr/36 deal! The way salaries are skyrocketing, this might be a good deal years 3 and 4… if we get them from him.

  2. I’m cautiously optimistic on this one. I liked Pomeranz back in ‘16. His stuff in MIL looked filthy in a small sample size. He will have to play near Andrew Miller 2016-2017 levels for this money to make sense, so I believe Preller overpaid. Miller got 2 years, AAV $12.5mil from the Cardinals. Pom could not turn down a 4th year, too enticing. I wonder if the other suitors were offering 3 years at $6-10mil per, forcing AJ to overcommit.

    Bullpen badly needed an 8th inning guy, Munoz would be better served in the 7th at this stage in his young career.

  3. This is an eye-popping contract to hand out to a pitcher with his injury history, based on 26 innings of relief work. 2 years/$15M would have been more like it. Big gamble by Preller.

  4. So did you like the signing overall or not?

    I’ll give it a 65% change to be good to Ya Baby!

    As to the Dodgers didn’t most pitchers (excluding our former 5th starter, may he thrive in Milwaukee except when they play us) do worse against them. I find that hard to hold as an extreme negative. How was his relief statistics against them vs starter?

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