The San Diego Padres beat the clock and signed Robert Suarez to add more depth to the bullpen.
Ask, and you shall receive.
General manager Preller beat the clock on the looming lockout by adding Robert Suarez to a one-year deal.
Suarez spent last year with Hanshin Tigers in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball Organization and has pitched in Japan for six seasons.
The addition of Suarez comes on the same day as the signing of Luis Garcia as Preller continues to retool the bullpen. Mark Melancon dashed for the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier in the day, and there is a strong possibility that Suarez will take over the job as the team’s closer.
Suarez throws hard and compiled an impressive 1.16 ERA last season in the NPB.
The Padres finalized a deal with Luis García earlier today, and they're close to finalizing with fellow RHP Robert Suarez.
Suarez, another hard-thrower, notched a 1.16 ERA in Japan last year. Didn’t allow a homer and permitted just 6 unintentional walks across 229 batters faced.
— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) December 2, 2021
The 30-year-old Venezuelan right-hander was expected to head to the MLB, and the Padres finally get a deal done. The deal includes a player option for 2023, and this is a perfect opportunity for Suarez to get some consistent innings.
Suarez has electric stuff, and there is a lot to like about the skills he brings over from Japan.
He was the closer last year for the Hanshin Tigers, and with the departure of Melancon, he figures to take over that job and shut the door in what should be another strong, deep bullpen in San Diego.
Suarez totaled 67 saves over the past two years with the Tigers, including 42 in 2021. He added on 58 strikeouts in 62.1 innings pitched and could end up as a massive steal for the Padres.
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The Padres followed it up by signing Nick Martinez, another pitcher who threw in Japan last season.
With the MLB headed for a lockout, there is a strong sense that free agency will freeze until the work stoppage ends. Nonetheless, Preller and the Padres are doing what they can to add pieces in hopes of making a return to the playoffs in 2021, and it is only a matter of time before another blockbuster hits the wire.
Matthew Wadleigh, born in Oceanside and currently lives in Fresno. He lives with his wife and 2 dogs and is a sports enthusiast. Retired drummer and member of the Fresno State Marching Band. He has been a Padres fan since childhood and has suffered during the struggles just like everybody else.