Today, the San Diego Padres and Cleveland Indians swapped a total of three players, which includes closer Brad Hand, reliever Adam Cimber, and the best overall catching prospect in baseball, Francisco Mejia.
The Indians will send Francisco Mejia to the Padres for Brad Hand and Adam Cimber, according to Ken Rosenthal.
Shockingly, the Cleveland Indians have one of the worst bullpens in the MLB right now, which is shocking as they were one of the best for the past few years. The team is carrying a 5.28 ERA.
This is the reason why the Indians are trading their best prospect in Mejia for two solid arms to make a push for the World Series.
Also, it makes sense on trading Mejia as he is blocked by Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez, as they have security on their contracts.
However, both Andrew Miller and Cody Allen are free agents after the conclusion of the post-season and who knows if they want to re-sign with the club or if the club wants to re-sign them.
Hand is under contract through 2020 with a club option for 2021 ($10MM). Cimber has two years of contract renewal and three years of arbitration, which will give him five total years of team control and making him an official free agent after the 2023 season.
So now the Indians have bullpen security encase Miller and Allen decide to leave.
Hand has had a solid 2018 campaign by making the NL All-Star team, posting 24 saves and a 3.05 ERA in 44.1 innings of work. He has punched out 65 batters.
Terry Francona will have many choices to pick from out of the bullpen in the late innings of games with Miller, Allen, and Hand.
Cimber will most likely stick in the middle innings role, which in San Diego he has done a fair amount of work. In 48.1 innings of work, the right-handed pitcher has displayed a 3.17 ERA and punching out 51 batters.
Cimber has averaged 9.5 K/9 against just 1.9 BB/9 with a 52.3 percent ground-ball rate. This kid will remind Indians fans of former Indians reliever Joe Smith.
Let’s change hands here. Francisco Mejia is the future backstop of the Padres and will put a chip on current starting catcher Austin Hedges, unless they can feel comfortable at placing Mejia in the outfield or back at third base (started minor league career at third).
Hedges and Mejia would be the perfect tandem if kept together, as Mejia is an offensive weapon and Hedges is a defensive guru. Maybe they can feed other each other and help their games.
Mejia is a great offensive weapon waiting to get that permanent call-up to the show, which could happen some point this year. Versatility will help Mejia stick up in the show if the club wants Hedges behind the plate.
For those who do not know, Mejia is the kid last year who authored a historically good 50-game hitting streak in the minor leagues last season, hit .297/.346/.490 in Double-A last year.
Lastly, he is hitting .279/.328/.426 so far in Triple-A despite facing older competition. In the month of June, he has gotten in a groove to put up a monstrous .391/.421/.594 slash with four homers and 15 doubles through 141 plate appearances.