Mike Clevinger and the San Diego Padres have agreed to a two-year contract, adding more certainty to his time in San Diego, but there’s just one problem: He’ll miss 2021 because he needs Tommy John surgery.
The Padres announced the move Monday and their tweet was quite the roller-coaster ride:
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) November 16, 2020
The deal doesn’t get Clevinger any additional time in a Padres uniform, it just buys out his arbitration years and adds cost certainty for the Padres.
Clevinger came over from the Cleveland Indians in a summer trade, as the Padres hoped to bolster their rotation for a postseason run. The playoff run came, but Clevinger was injured for almost all of it. He hurt his elbow in September and tried to pitch through it. He returned briefly for the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers and threw just 26 pitches before being removed from the game. Last we heard in mid-October, the Padres didn’t think Clevinger needed surgery, but that prognosis has certainly changed.
Now, the Padres are still waiting to get a full year of Clevinger — they’ll just wait longer.
The 29-year-old right-hander became one of the AL’s top pitchers in 2018 and 2019 in Cleveland. In 2020, he carried a 3.02 ERA across eight starts. The Padres have some promising young pitchers, but having Clevinger in the fold beyond this year made the trade appealing.
The Padres figure to be good again in 2021, but with Clevinger back in 2022, the NL West better really watch out.
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