Should the Padres trade for a reliever ahead of the trade deadline?
The All-Star break is now behind us, and the San Diego Padres‘ bullpen is a concern for this ball club. If you have watched the Padres bullpen collapse this year, then you know what I am talking about.
They are right in the middle of the pack in a lot of statistics. SD’s bullpen is 15th in team ERA at 3.85, 7th in hits allowed, 10th in runs allowed, and 15th in team opponent-batting average. If you look at it like that, it doesn’t seem as bad. It’s been the late-inning collapses that have really hurt this team. I’m sure everyone is getting tired of the Padres blowing leads late in the game.
Outside of the sometimes stellar display from Taylor Rogers, there isn’t anyone outside of Nabil Crismatt and Nick Martinez on that staff that is considered reliable. Rogers is pitching decent this season with a 3.82 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 37.2 innings pitched. As the team’s closer, the southpaw is 2nd in saves with 26. Josh Hader leads the MLB with 27 at the halfway point of the season.
Crismatt has actually been a pleasant surprise for the Padres this year. The Colombian had a 1.98 ERA and 1.02 WHIP through 36.1 innings in June. Opposing hitters are fooled by his changeup that he seems very confident in this season. However, a few innings caught up to him, and he finished the first half of the season with a 2.72 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in 43 innings.
Nabil Crismatt, Dirty 84mph Changeup. 👌 pic.twitter.com/nqNyDYgmWa
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 12, 2022
In the 22.1 innings, Nick Martinez has pitched out of the bullpen. The right-hander is pitching stellar. Martinez displays a 2.01 ERA and a WHIP of 0.94.
It’s hard to find any excitement from anyone else. Luis Garcia is tied for 8th in holds with 15 but is that really saying much? If the Friars are able to trade for a high-end reliever before the deadline, then this should really benefit the Padres.
It seems as if manager Bob Melvin is done with the 6-man rotation, at least for now.
Worthy bullpen arms the Padres should consider
Below is a list of six relievers that would instantly boost this bullpen. Adding one of these names would take a lot of pressure off of Rogers and the rest of the staff.
These names mentioned are not linked by the Padres at this moment, but some if not all of them should be on general manager A.J. Preller’s radar.
Jorge Lopez (Baltimore Orioles)
Lopez will be on everyone’s radar when the deadline approaches. The Oriole’s All-Star is shutting down his opponents and is a huge reason for their recent success. Lopez’s ERA sits at 1.62 in 44.1 innings pitched. He allowed only three earned runs all year until a few late outings where he allowed some runs to catch up on him.
From designated for assignment in 2020 to All-Star in 2022.
What a journey for Jorge López. pic.twitter.com/Ob4tMMboFy
— Orioles on MASN (@masnOrioles) July 10, 2022
Lopez would be a good option for the Padres. He’s proven he can pitch multiple innings as he has gone two innings or more in four outings this year. However, because the Orioles have won eight of their last ten and went on that 10-game win streak. They may not be sellers at the trade deadline.
Cionel Perez (Baltimore Orioles)
Lopez’s teammate Cionel Perez is another great option for the Padres. Again, it’s tough to tell where the Orioles are at the moment as they ended the first half with a huge run. If either Perez or Lopez are avaliable, Preller should be all over them.
Perez is pitching well with a 1.45 ERA in 31 innings. The lefty struck out 28 hitters and ended with a (4-1) record in the first half of the year.
As a left-handed reliever, he could help fill the void in the bullpen that currently only has one reliable southpaw. With Rogers being the closer and the unknown timeframe of Drew Pomeranz, Perez might end up being one of the best possible options for late-inning appearances. The team can’t rely on Tim Hill to be in that spot. Adrian Morejon and MacKenzie Gore should continue be in the long-receiver slot alongside Nick Martinez.
David Robertson (Chicago Cubs)
Robertson is showing flashbacks of his All-Star days with a 1.93 ERA in 37 innings this season. With a WHIP of 0.99 and 48 K’s on the year, the right-hander is one of the hottest arms on the market.
The Cubs will likely be sellers as they own one of the worst records in baseball. Robertson could retrieve them a solid prospect in return, and the Padres have plenty of options to send to Chicago. Since Robertson is 37, he shouldn’t be as expensive as some of the younger relievers on the market.
Michael Fulmer (Detroit Tigers)
Fulmer is an interesting name. The Tigers are struggling once again, and they like will entertain offers for the reliever. The former Rookie of the Year winner isn’t the same pitcher he once was. He’s found his new role on the bullpen and seems to be adjusting well.
In 34 innings, Fulmer has a 2.38 ERA and 1.12 WHIP with 34 strikeouts on the season. The right-hander has only allowed one long ball all year and could be a nice bullpen addition.
Alex Lange (Detroit Tigers)
Fulmer’s teammate and fellow set-up man Alex Lange is an intriguing name on the market. His numbers compare nicely to Fulmer’s as the two have pitched very similar all season long. Lange is (4-1) with a 2.29 ERA in 35 innings. He’s got an 11.2 K/9 which is second on the team, and he is the only pitcher on the staff with a 1.0 WAR or better. Like Fulmer, the right-hander only allowed one home run during the first half of the season. Lange would likely have a higher price tag than Fulmer, considering he is 26 years old.
Still haven’t gotten over Alex Lange’s whiffle ball Two-Seamer from yesterday pic.twitter.com/eK7Y70kNzF
— Calico Joe (@CalicoJoeMLB) June 6, 2022
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Anthony Bass (Miami Marlins)
The former Friar is going to be one of the hottest relievers on the market. The Marlins are in a weird position to start the second half because they are only 5.5 games out of a potential playoff spot. However, the Marlins do have depth in all areas of the pitching staff. They could afford to draft away Bass or even Tanner Scott, who is also pitching well this season.
Bass has a 1.36 ERA in 39 innings with a WHIP of 0.96 and a 4.8 k/BB ratio. This is the best season of his career to date, and the Marlins could fetch a good prospect in return if they deal him away.
The Padres know they have a great chance of making the playoffs, but they need another bullpen arm to be serious contenders. The New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, and Houston Astros all have respectable bullpens. It’s time for the Padres to match it.
Chris is a graduate of the University of San Diego. He is the former Sports Editor for the USDVista newspaper. Chris is also an athlete and is huge fan of San Diego sports. Chris has covered the San Diego Loyal, and contributes regularly about the Padres.