After partaking in a three-way trade with the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians and the twilight of the Trade Deadline, the San Diego Padres swung one last trade, albeit a minor one.
The Padres and Chicago Cubs made a 1-for-1 trade, acquiring recently demoted reliever Carl Edwards Jr. for left-handed reliever Brad Wieck. San Diego also received international bonus money from Chicago in the deal.
Once one of Joe Maddon‘s most trusted set up men, Edwards Jr. has struggled this season to the tune of a 5.51 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP with a 17:9 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
However, Edwards Jr. has only pitched 15.1 innings this season, so the sample size is small. He has also been demoted to Triple-A Iowa twice in the 2019 season while dealing with a left thoracic strain that put him on the 10-day injured list earlier this season.
The pitcher is still just a season removed from a 2018 season where he pitched to a 2.30 ERA and a 1.30 ERA while collecting a strikeout-to-walk of 67:32.
San Diego is hoping that a change of scenery and working with Darren Balsley will get the 27-year-old back to his pristine 2018 form. He will be joining a bullpen headlined by lockdown closer Kirby Yates and young gunslingers Andres Munoz and Michel Baez.
The Padres acquired Cubs righty reliever Carl Edwards Jr. in exchange for lefty Brad Wieck, per a source. Edwards numbers with the Cubs were excellent for four seasons, but he's slumped to a 5.87 ERA this year. Friars are hopeful they can get him back to his old self.
— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) July 31, 2019
During spring training, Wieck made headlines for his recovery from surgery for testicular cancer. On the field, the 6-foot-9 Wieck struggled to a 6.57 ERA and 1.42 WHIP. However, he did carry an 11.31 K/9 and 3.28 B/9 in 24.2 innings of work, while his advanced numbers (5.62 FIP, 4.48 xFIP, 3.68 SIERRA) paint a slightly better picture than what his ERA says. He will be joining a Chicago bullpen that is still slightly shaky even with the addition of Craig Kimbrel.
This deal has the potential to be a major boon for the Padres bullpen. Edwards Jr. has sharp stuff and has experience pitching in the playoffs, earning a World Series ring in 2016. If he returns to 2018 form, he will be another weapon in a steadily improving San Diego bullpen.