Reliever Scott Barlow dealt to Cleveland for Enyel De Los Santos

Credit: AP Photo

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Credit: Sports Illustrated

In a cost-cutting move, the San Diego Padres dealt reliever Scott Barlow to the Cleveland Guardians for Enyel De Los Santos.

The Padres are reportedly trying to slash $50 million from their payroll for the 2024 season. Financial difficulties may be slightly overblown, but there is no doubt the team is trying to be more thrifty in the coming seasons.

There were multiple reports that the Padres were actively trying to trade Scott Barlow this week.

In the end, A.J. Preller and his staff decided to move the veteran for a familiar face. Enyel De Los Santos was acquired by the Padres on Friday. The right-handed pitcher signed with the Mariners in 2014 and was dealt to San Diego in 2015 for Joaquin Benoit. De Los Santos flourished in the Padres system and was traded to the Phillies in late 2017 for Freedy Galvis.

At the time, the Padres were desperate for a shortstop. This was the year before Fernando Tatis Jr. debuted. De Los Santos was highly regarded in the system and was a top 10 player in the Padres’  No.1 rated farm system. It seemed like a hefty price to pay for an average shortstop at the end of his career.

The Phillies never got much from De Los Santos, who was selected on waivers by the Pirates after posting a 6.21 ERA with the Philadelphia in three years and 38 games. The Pirates allowed De Los Santos to explore free agency after his lone year with the club, and the right-hander from the Dominican unlocked something with Cleveland.

With the Guardians, De Los Santos was used solely out of the pen and put up a 3.18 ERA in two years and 120 games. He struck out 123 batters in 119 innings while walking 42 hitters. At 27 and under control through the 2026 season, the Padres get an excellent young arm for a minimal price. He is due for arbitration in 2024.

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Barlow, on the other hand, is a veteran arm with closing experience.

The right-handed pitcher was acquired late last season by the Padres from the Royals for Jesus Rios and Henry Williams. Barlow struggled at times with the Padres, recording a 3.07 ERA in 25 games. His numbers improved with the Padres, but Barlow’s overall ERA (4.37) for the season was a new career-high.

The Guardians will utilize Barlow in a setup role, and the Padres will get equal value from a pitcher with the same upside. Expect De Los Santos to earn a spot in the spring and be utilized in a setup role with San Diego. The Padres saved a fraction of what is needed moving forward. Expect more cost-cutting moves in the coming weeks.

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