Padres land solid reliever in Mark Melancon

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres reportedly have reached an agreement with reliever Mark Melancon. 

Padres general manager A.J. Preller is at it again. According to The Athletic’s Dennis Lin, the Padres reached a deal to bring in three-time All-Star Mark Melancon. The details of the deal are not yet known, but this adds to an already solid pitching staff in San Diego.

Melancon has been one of the most consistent relievers of the last decade. He saved 51 games for the Pirates in 2015 and has accumulated 205 saves in his career, which is sixth on the active list. He owns a career 2.85 ERA and 141 ERA+, stellar numbers for a pitcher, having spent 12 seasons in the big leagues.

In the last three years, he has bounced around, pitching for the Giants and Braves in that span. In that same time period, he owns a 3.35 ERA and 128 ERA+ despite pitching into his mid-30s. Since 2013, he is sixth among relievers in walks per nine innings and fWAR. He also excels at keeping the ball in the ballpark as he has allowed just 0.4 home runs per nine innings since 2018.

Many Padres fans were clamoring for Trevor Rosenthal’s return, who came on strong after arriving in San Diego via trade late last season. However, comparing the two relievers, Melancon has far better numbers in the last two seasons. Rosenthal struggled mightily in 2019 with a 13.50 ERA in 22 games before vastly improving in 2020. Melancon has a longer track record of success, with a 3.40 ERA and 132 ERA+ in the last two years.

It is unclear what Melancon’s role will be at this time. For most of his career, he has been a closer. However, 23 saves in the last two years over 89 games suggests his closing days may be over. The Friars have plenty of options to close out games, such as Drew Pomeranz and Emilio Pagan.

The Padres added to their already spendy offseason. This may be the most complete Padres roster ever assembled and it just got a little bit better with a reliever that has a quality track record of success.

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Nick Lee
Native of Escondido, CA. Lived in San Diego area for 20 years. Padres fan since childhood (mid-90s). I have been writing since 2014. I currently live near Seattle, WA and am married to a Seattle sports girl. I wore #19 on my high school baseball team for Tony Gwynn. I am a stats and sports history nerd. I attended BYU on the Idaho campus. I also love Star Wars.

1 thought on “Padres land solid reliever in Mark Melancon

  1. I read elsewhere where Melancon has lost significant velocity on his fastball over the last couple years. He is an experienced RP who has closed quite well previously. I hope he can resume the velocity and become an important part of our staff as a backend option.

    I wanted Rosenthal back because he was effective for us. Likely, he and his agent overpriced themselves which negated his return. It’s still possible that AJ will find a way to squeeze him in still. Not everyone can pitch the 9th inning and any effective relief pitcher is needed. We still have a couple with options if need be.

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