San Diego Padres reliever Brad Hand is having a great season. The 27-year old has a 2.30 ERA in 47 innings of relief for the Friars this season, striking out 60 and walking 13. He was San Diego’s lone All-Star representative, and will be one of the most popular relievers on the trade market this July.
Well, he’ll be a popular reliever assuming teams aren’t scared off by San Diego’s demands in return for Hand, which seem a bit exorbitant.
Other teams say that for now, the Padres are looking for a return on lefty Brad Hand similar to what the Phillies got for Ken Giles.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 15, 2017
In case you’re curious, the Phillies received Mark Appel, Harold Arauz, Thomas Eshelman, Brett Oberholtzer, and Vince Velasquez in exchange for Giles after the 2015 season, and the flamethrowing closer still came with a whopping five years of team control.
Hand only has two seasons of control left after the 2017 season, both of which will be arbitration years. He is also a good two years older than Giles was at the time of his deal to Houston, and had a shaky career as a starter with the Marlins before being claimed off waivers by the Padres and being turned into a shutdown reliever.
Will San Diego get a return comparable to what the Phillies got, which included a pair of top 100 prospects and a player taken in the second round of the MLB Draft just months earlier? It’s doubtful.
According to a report from the San Diego Union-Tribune, half of the league has had their interest piqued by Hand.
Sources say about 15 teams have expressed at least casual interest in Hand, but as the Padres opened the second half Friday, no agreement — involving Hand or anyone else — appeared imminent.
A handful of other Padres, most of which are pitchers, have also received interest leading into the trade deadline.
In addition to Hand, relievers Brandon Maurer, Ryan Buchter, Jose Torres, Craig Stammen and starters Trevor Cahill, Clayton Richard and Jhoulys Chacin have drawn varying levels of interest. Yangervis Solarte had attracted attention, but the second baseman is on the disabled list and may not return in time for opposing teams to accurately gauge his value.
It also doesn’t appear that Padres GM AJ Preller will dump Hand just because it’s the trade deadline and San Diego stinks, which lends some credence to the theory that the team has a high bar set for a return.
Many rival officials believe it is a foregone conclusion that Hand will be relocated by July 31. But while bullpen arms are the most volatile assets in the game, there could be a scenario, however unlikely, in which the Padres keep Hand past the deadline. The reliever, who is making $1.375 million this season, will be under club control for two more years.
“We’re never going to look to move players just to move players for the purpose of being active,” Preller said. “It’s got to make sense for us short-term and long-term.
“Industry-wide, my guess is there’s going to be a lot of conversations. … I think each timeline kind of takes on an identity of its own. We’ll find out more in the next couple weeks.”
Buckle up, folks. The hot stove is lit.