The San Diego Padres and Kansas City Royals agreed to a trade on Thursday.
Hill, a 30-year-old left-handed reliever, has spent his entire career with Kansas City and made his debut in 2018. He pitched to a 3.63 ERA, 3.84 FIP, and a 3.89 xFIP in 39.2 innings pitched last year.
The left-hander also posted a solid 8.85 K/9 against a 2.95 BB/9 while inducing ground balls at a 57.3 percent clip and still has four years of control left on his contract.
Padres announce a trade. And it’s not a tiny one.
Padres get lefty reliever Tim Hill from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for OF Franchy Cordero and RHP Ronald Bolaños.
— Kevin Acee (@sdutKevinAcee) July 17, 2020
The actual reason for the acquirement of Hill, however, is his success against left-handed hitters. Last season, lefties hit a mere .186/.262/.203 against the submarine pitcher, a notable statistic considering MLB implementing a three-batter minimum rule this season.
The price for acquiring Hill was steep, however. Despite playing in only 79 games over the past three years, Cordero’s combination of speed and power translated into some truly spectacular plays. One such play included a towering 489-foot home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in an April game in 2018.
Injuries, the tendency to swing-and-miss (Cordero has posted a career 38.8 strikeout percentage in the Majors), and the emergence of Edward Olivares made Cordero expendable in the eyes of the front office.
Bolanos made his debut with San Diego last year after beginning the season with High-A Lake Elsinore. At 23-years-old, Bolanos made three starts and pitched 19 2/3 innings of 5.95 ERA ball and 8.69 K/9 against 5.49 BB/9.
Despite the four-years of control that comes with Hill, San Diego is still losing out on a potential star in Cordero and a potential relief pitcher himself in Bolanos. However, potential is the keyword, and San Diego pulled the trigger, knowing they were adding another weapon to a loaded bullpen.