Another new home has been found for one of baseball’s best-traveled pitchers.
On Wednesday, Drew Pomeranz agreed to a free-agent contract with the San Deigo Padres, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is for four years and $34 million, according to Robert Murray.
The 31-year-old left-hander emerged as a more than serviceable bullpen option at a time when the market was relatively thin on relievers. Pomeranz will likely stick in the bullpen for the Padres, but he can handle a heavy workload and step in as a spot starter if necessary. He racked up 104 total innings in 2019, but did his best work out of the Milwaukee Brewers’ bullpen.
Pomeranz has bounced around since being drafted fifth overall by the Cleveland Indians in 2010. He signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the San Francisco Giants in January and was traded — for the fourth time in his career — to the Brewers at the deadline.
After posting ugly numbers for more than a year, Pomeranz had something of a resurgence in Milwaukee. He recorded a 2.39 ERA while striking out batters at a career-high rate of 15.4 per nine innings over 25 appearances, just one as a starter.
As a reliever, he made 15 hitless appearances and 27 scoreless appearances in which he recorded at least one out. His largest pitfall was a popular topic in 2019, yielding 21 total homers, 17 with the Giants.
Pomeranz throws five different pitches but relies mainly on his fastball and curveball. His fastball has great spin and hangs in the low-90’s while his curve doesn’t spin much but provides about 10 mph of separation. Even while he struggled in San Francisco, his strikeout figures were his highest since his All-Star season in 2016.
The Ole Miss product has repeatedly transitioned from the rotation to the bullpen throughout his career.
He broke in as a starter with the Colorado Rockies in 2011, made 42 relief appearances with the Oakland A’s in 2015, was named an All-Star out of the San Diego Padres rotation in 2016, held that role for 46 starts with the Boston Red Sox through 2017, spent the majority of 2018 either on the disabled list or the Boston bullpen and started in 17 of his 21 appearances with the Giants.
The deal with the Padres should provide him with some continuity and stability, or he can be back on the block within a few months.
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