According to a report from Dennis Lin, Craig Stammen is returning to the San Diego Padres on a minor league deal for 2023. According to Kevin Acee, the deal will pay Stammen $1.5 million if he is on the major league team.
The Padres have agreed to a minor-league deal with Craig Stammen, a source tells The Athletic. Stammen will be back in Peoria for his seventh spring with San Diego.
— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) January 12, 2023
Stammen joined the Padres as a free agent before the 2017 season after not pitching in 2016, and barely doing so in 2015. With the departure of Wil Myers, Stammen’s return makes him the longest tenured Padres.
Over his six seasons in San Diego, Stammen was a consistent and durable arm. He averaged just over 80 innings pers season in his first three years on the team and posted an ERA just above three. Many of those innings were in high leverage situations.
Once the Padres accrued a more talented bullpen starting in 2020, Stammen took a smaller role in relief. He struggled that season, but made a memorable start in Game 3 of the Wild Card Round against the St. Louis Cardinals in which the bullpen pitched a complete game shutout to move onto the National League Division Series.
Stammen regained his form in 2021 amidst his biggest workload as a Padre, pitching 88 innings while once again having an ERA slightly above three. But Father Time might have caught up to Stammen this past season. Some injuries held him back and Stammen only threw 40 innings.
Nonetheless, he clearly wants to be back with the Padres, as he might have been able to get a major league contract elsewhere. He is by all accounts a great leader and the younger pitchers at spring training and minor league pitchers will benefit from his presence. Stammen will have to earn his way back onto the Padres major league roster in what is expected to be another good bullpen.