The San Diego Padres announced that they acquired relief pitcher Daniel Hudson from the Washington Nationals.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) July 30, 2021
These two teams were heavily linked all day. Initially, it looked like they struck a deal to move future hall-of-fame pitcher Max Scherzer. These rumors came while Scherzer was on the mound. With his full no-trade clause, he had to approve any trade. Due to him actively playing a game, he couldn’t be reached right when the rumors came out. That allowed the Dodgers to sweeten the deal and snatch Scherzer from the Padres.
The Padres are by no means settling for Hudson. He is one of the best relief options left on the market. This season he has a 2.20 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 2.45 FIP. He ranks in the 91st percentile or higher in Whiff %, xwOBA, xERA, xBA, K%, and fastball velocity.
For the most part, he is a two-pitch pitcher. He uses his fastball 73% of the time, slider 24%, and changeup 3%. His fastball sits at 97 mph and holds batters to under a .200 batting average and expected batting average. His slider sits around 89 mph and has a 54.2% whiff rate.
Hudson brings some playoff experience to one of the best bullpens in the league. He was one of the only reliable arms out of the pen when the Nationals won the World Series in 2019. He can be another arm that Jayce Tingler can use in the back of the bullpen. This will have a nice effect of pushing a lot of pitchers down one notch in terms of high leverage appearances.
On top of that, this is one of the most worked bullpens. The Padres rotation has failed time and time again to work deep into games. That becomes even harder when multiple relievers like Adrian Morejon, Keona Kela, and Javy Guerra all had early season-ending injuries. Even Drew Pomeranz has spent a few stints on the IL this season. Hudson is currently on the COVID IL due to contact tracing and will have to quarantine before he can pitch for the Padres.
To acquire Hudson, the Padres are shipping out Mason Thompson and Jordy Barley. Thompson is the Padres No. 9 prospect but was able to reach the big leagues this season. He made four appearances and held a 3.00 ERA in his three innings pitched. Down in Triple-A, it’s a different story. There he has a 5.74 ERA over 26.2 innings pitched.
Barley is the lottery ticket that the Padres had to throw in to complete the deal. He makes the most of his 6’0 175 lb frame. The speedster has 33 stolen bases in 61 games this season. The problem is with his bat. He has a .240/.333/.388 slash this season.
Overall the Padres got better with this trade. They needed pitching, and they got it.
Look for A.J. Preller to make a few more deals in the final seconds like he always does.