The current starting pitching options for Padres via free agency

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Taking a look at some of the free-agent options for the San Diego Padres as they search for pitching. 

With a young pitching staff, the San Diego Padres require a veteran leader.

Not just a pitcher with tenure, as they have that in right-hander Garrett Richards. For lack of better words- the team needs an ace.

For the Padres to be a relevant team in the NL West, they need a pitcher they can count on to end a losing streak. They need a stopper and someone who other teams fear. Chris Paddack has that potential, and so do MacKenzie Gore and Luis Patino, who are presently in the minors. But the trio of youngsters will take time to develop genuinely into that role.

No ace can be found on the free-agent market, but there are some options for the Padres in their search for starting pitching.

Here are some players who could be of interest as they are still available to sign with whomever they want. Ryu and Keuchel could potentially eat innings and be top-of-the-order pitchers, but both come with a great deal of risk. Beyond the two lefties, there are a few pitchers who could provide relief for the Padres in a long season.

Current free-agent options

Hyun-Jin Ryu

This 32-year-old left-handed pitcher is arguably the best option available, but he will not be cheap. He reportedly wants a deal close to what the Diamondbacks gave Madison Bumgarner (5-years/$85 million). It remains to be seen if that is what he will get as he has a track record of injuries that limit his overall appeal. Ryu is a good pitcher with tendencies to be great, but he is not someone to count on, and it is hard to believe reliability will come with age.

Dallas Keuchel

Rivaling the value of Ryu is this southpaw who pitched last season in Atlanta. He only threw half a season because there was a draft pick attached to his name the previous winter. Keuchel is a former AL Cy Young-Award winner and has proven to be reasonably durable during his eight-year career. He would likely not require a four 0r five year deal at top dollar and could be an excellent value-selection for the Padres.

Felix Hernandez

“King” Felix is only 33 years of age but has thrown an amazing amount of pitches in his career. From 2006-2015, Hernandez recorded 2,176.2 innings for the Mariners. He was a durable workhorse, but those days are over. The velocity on his fastball is gone, and it is likely not ever going to return. The pitcher has made over $217 million in his career, so the money will not be a deciding factor for him if he chooses to return. The Padres tend to be nostalgic when it comes to free agency, but this seems unlikely for the team.

Aaron Sanchez

Shoulder surgery ended his 2019 season, and he will miss the start of the coming year, but this 27-year-old could be an attractive investment. The Barstow California native has terrific stuff but has been limited by injuries virtually his whole career. The 2016 AL All-Star won 15 games that year, showing promise for the Blue Jays. Being that he is injured, he would not require a multiple-year deal or a huge payday. This is a decent option if his medicals look clean.

Matt Harvey

“The Dark Knight” has fallen from All-Star status but is still 30 years of age. He will likely continue to pitch somewhere despite recording a 7.09 ERA last year for the Angels. Harvey played for $11 million last season and will only make a fraction of that this year if signed by someone. He has a spotty record in the clubhouse and some serious issues on the mound, to be expected to return to who he once was as a New York Met. Harvey will sign somewhere, but it likely will not be with the Padres unless they are sure about his mentality moving forward.

Drew Smyly

This talented left-handed pitcher missed all of the 2017 and 2018 seasons following Tommy John surgery. He was 4-7 last year with a 6.74 ERA for the Rangers and Phillies, striking out 120 batters in 21 starts and 114 innings pitched. He always could punch out batters and was once considered a decent young pitcher with the Tigers. The 30-year-old can still start a game but might turn out to be a dominant reliever at the end of the day. The Padres could have some interest as Smyly could fill a role similar to what Robbie Erlin did last year for the team.

Jhoulys Chacin

This former Padres’ right-handed pitcher had a rough year in 2019, pitching for the Brewers and Red Sox. He went 3-12 with a 6.01 ERA as his trademark slider was just not effective. The 32-year-old went 13-10 for the Padres in 2017 and recorded a 3.89 ERA. He could be an option for the team as they are familiar with what he brings to the table. He could help eat innings at the end of the rotation.

Homer Bailey

At 34, Bailey is not a young pitcher. He successfully made it through the 2019 season, going 13-9 with a 4.57 ERA between the A’s and the Royals. He struck out 149 batters in 163 innings pitched and could still be a reliable source of innings pitched for a team. Bailey has made over $90 million in his career and will likely not be looking for top dollar. To him, the correct situation should be his main focus. A transition to the bullpen could be for him as he might experience an uptick in stuff only needing to throw in short stints.

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James was born and raised in America's Finest City. He is a passionate baseball fan with even more passion towards his hometown Padres. Editor-In-Chief of EastVillageTimes.com. Always striving to bring you the highest quality in San Diego Sports News. Original content, with original ideas, that's our motto. Enjoy.

10 thoughts on “The current starting pitching options for Padres via free agency

  1. Look i believe we have the pitching.dont bring these bums in .get betts or lindor .we need a bad.if they half to they can use the big lefty that the just signed to start.cant remenber his name.pattic is one year older.they have plety of depth.i know they want another right hander. I believe you will see another young arm step up.if they need a veteran just as a leader to chew up innings.how about a guy like hudson.reamenber pomarantz started for us before and did well. You cant win if you cant score runs.they had many games were they lost 2 to1.they need another stick.they had more guys left on base,than anyone .

  2. Look i believe we have the pitching.dont bring these bums in .get betts or lindor .we need a bad.if they half to they can use the big lefty that the just signed to start.cant remenber his name.pattic is one year older.they have plety of depth.i know they want another right hander. I believe you will see another young arm step up.if they need a veteran just as a leader to chew up innings.how about a guy like hudson.reamenber pomarantz started for us before and did well. You cant win if you cant score runs.they had many games were there lots 2 to1.they need another stick.they had more guys left on base,than anyone .

  3. thanks for netting this out – but the outlook is as bleak as I thought. Seems like our best call would be to get Keuchel and have him there to eat some innings while we wait wait for the young guns to arrive… and add some solid outfield Offense to buy us a few W’s along the way.

    This offseason has really been a disappointment. Except for that brown part… but it’ll be for naught if we can’t establish some winning seasons…

  4. I’d like to see AJ take a chance on Taijuan Walker. He’s a physical freak, with the potential to break out in the second half of his career. I understand he’s been dogged by injury but It wasn’t long ago that he was highly thought of among the scouting community and throwing him into the mix for the 4 and 5 spots in the rotation provides excellent risk/reward potential for the club. Either way those are Patiños and Gores spots whenever they are ready, however everyone knows you can never have enough arms.

  5. Would have been nice to sign Bum but he wanted to play in Arizona and wanted a 5 year deal at 17 million per. Kluber would have been a better get and less risk. Nobody on the above list is worth getting unless you are desperate because your window of opportunity for getting to the playoffs in closing and don’t have the trade resources to make it happen. Quantrill and others in the system not named Gore and Patino are better and at a much lower cost/risk.

  6. I see this as another burned and wasted year as we likely fight the Giants to place last in our division again. None of the pitching options are going to help us win more games unless Ryu takes a short term deal. Even then… incentive laden, which he will not accept.

    I think this will be the year to allow the pitching kids to build up innings, knowledge and confidence. The rest of the team will bond and play but there’s only so much there. I hope Preller doesn’t dismantle our farm on the “win at all costs to save my job” scenario. I hope the following GM will be more experienced and wiser about his dealings. I hope AJ leaves the cupboards full and stops his BOGO trades. AND, I hope Fowler shuts up and sits in his box and lets the GM do his job properly.

    I’m hoping we can upgrade the pitching staff with a trade that doesn’t utilize our top 4 prospects. I’d like to trade 2 of our younger back of the rotation guys plus a lower prospect or two for a starting pitcher at the front end of our current rotation.

      1. Look i believe we have the pitching.dont bring these bums in .get betts or lindor .we need a bad.if they half to they can use the big lefty that the just signed to start.cant remenber his name.pattic is one year older.they have plety of depth.i know they want another right hander. I believe you will see another young arm step up.if they need a veteran just as a leader to chew up innings.how about a guy like hudson.reamenber pomarantz started for us before and did well. You cant win if you cant score runs.they had many games were they lost 2 to1.they need another stick.they had more guys left on base,than anyone .

  7. Huge mistake that we didn’t sign BUM. Really don’t like the above options. I’m afraid just like last we will be going into the season with what we have now. Hope and a ? that we get 75-78 wins.

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James Clark
James was born and raised in America's Finest City. He is a passionate baseball fan with even more passion towards his hometown Padres. Editor-In-Chief of EastVillageTimes.com. Always striving to bring you the highest quality in San Diego Sports News. Original content, with original ideas, that's our motto. Enjoy.