Continuing their busy Nov. 27, the San Diego Padres agreed to a deal with starter/reliever Drew Pomeranz, according to a source. AJ Cassavell of MLB.com put together a write-up on the deal, which has not been confirmed by the team or player yet at this time.
For Pomeranz, his four year, $34 million contract represents a huge change in his career, even though he has returned to the Padres, where he was successful in 2016 before being traded to the Boston Red Sox at that year’s trade deadline. While he started and pitched out of the bullpen in 2019, this deal paints him almost as a full-time reliever, which is a complete 360-degree turn from what his career has been up to this point so far.
His career renaissance began when he was traded from the San Francisco Giants to the Milwaukee Brewers at this year’s trade deadline, and while that transaction seemed very minor at the time, he completely turned his career around when he was moved into the bullpen full time when with the Brewers. Putting up a great strikeout to walk ratio and a 1.88 ERA in 28 relief appearances, Pomeranz was able to maximize his value in a short window of time, making teams like the Padres understand the type of value that he can bring to any franchise.
The Padres have Kirby Yates holding down the closer role in their ‘pen, so Pomeranz will not be asked to take on save opportunities, at least not on a regular basis. However, being one of the team’s more trusted assets in late-inning situations is what is going to earn Pom his money moving forward, and the Padres, who seem to be on the up and up in terms of their window to compete, will be in need of the big lefty to regain his mojo from this past season while coming out of the bullpen.
On a day that saw the Padres and Brewers interact with a trade that sent starting pitcher Zach Davies and outfielder Trent Grisham to the Brewers for infielder Luis Urias and left-handed starting pitcher Eric Lauer, they went out and signed the former Brewer reliever to a hefty chunk of change. While Pomeranz put up really solid numbers in relief over the second half of last season, his time spent as a reliever is not even close enough to being able to justify why he earned this much money.
Hopefully, for the Padres, they did not overpay too much and the market just decided to set a high premium on left-handed non-closer relievers, but good for Pomeranz to come back to a team where he earned a ton of respect and finally was able to cash in on his pitching career.