The San Diego Padres signed RHP Chih-Wei Hu.
Two days after signing Kyle Barraclough to a minor league deal, the San Diego Padres swung a deal with yet another minor league relief pitcher as they signed former Rays’ pitcher Chih-Wei Hu to a minor league deal.
At 26 years old, Hu is still relatively young.
The pitcher signed with the Minnesota Twins out of Taiwan in 2012 and has already been traded twice in his young career.
The first swap sent him to Tampa Bay along with Alexis Tapia for reliever Kevin Jepsen in 2015. Three years later, he was shipped off to Cleveland in a minor trade for second base prospect Gionti Turner.
It was in Tampa Bay that Hu made his Major League debut. He only pitched 23 total innings of relief and garnered a 3.52 ERA and a 21:7 K: BB ratio over two seasons with Tampa Bay before the trade mentioned above to Cleveland.
The #Padres take flier on Taiwanese pitcher Chih-Wei Hu, sign him to minor-league deal.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 19, 2019
Hu could benefit from pitching at Petco Park as he generated fly-ball rates of 48.1% and 51.4% in his two seasons with Tampa Bay. However, Hu got blasted over 54.2 innings in the minor leagues last year as he posted a 7.74 ERA with a 45:24 K: BB in between stints with the Indians and the Chicago Cubs as both a reliever and a spot starter.
Hu will most likely be playing at Triple-A El Paso, where he will serve as a middle reliever, but there is a chance that he will be able to earn a spot out of the bullpen with an invite to Spring Training. With the crowded state of the San Diego bullpen, Hu will be acting as an emergency depth piece with the potential to grow into something more with coaching.