Hey, thanks for doing lots of stuff today that makes me hate you, Padres. I respect your efforts, I suppose, but I hate you just the same.
Our dream free agent relief target for the Cubs is off the board:
#Padres in agreement with free-agent reliever Drew Pomeranz, pending physical, sources tell The Athletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 27, 2019
I won’t rehash why we wanted Pomeranz so much since it’s not happening now, but you can read about it here from Michael, who is likely crying on a plane somewhere at the moment. Pomeranz was arguably the only reliever on the market who made sense for the Cubs to spend aggressively on, and now he’s out.
Suffice to say, the Cubs still have considerable needs in the bullpen, and adding an arm with the chance to be a high-end setup man would be ideal, but it will have to come via trade at this point. Guys like Will Harris or Daniel Hudson could be good and useful – the Cubs will assuredly sign at least one free agent reliever of some utility – but Pomeranz was likely to be in a different tier. So it’s going to be trades and volume time for the Cubs again.
Anyway, Pomeranz could be a very, very good reliever for the Padres, as he was upon that conversion with the Brewers in the second half.
Speaking of the Brewers and Padres, it was their four-player trade just moments ago that started this chain reaction of ticking me off. The Padres are still overflowing with usable arms and outfielders, by the way, so I expect many more trades coming from them. They are very clearly intent on competing at the highest level in 2020, so the next question is how aggressive they’ll be in acquisitional trades? Might they want to add an impact bat from a team like the Cubs? Just wondering.
Of course, given the way today has gone, they’d complete a deal with the Cubs, and then it would be revealed that the Padres hit health information about the players the Cubs got. (Hey, remember when they did that? It actually happened! Bonus connection: the player whose trade actually started that investigation by MLB? Drew Pomeranz.)
UPDATE: The deal is expectedly much larger than many expected (if that makes sense – we always figured he was gonna get more than projected), and actually looks like he’ll get nearly as much as his former Giants teammate did:
#Padres’ agreement with free-agent reliever Drew Pomeranz is four years, pending physical, according to sources. The deal is expected to come in at an $8-9 million AAV.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) November 27, 2019
Consider that Will Smith, with a muuuuuuuch longer track record of elite relief success netted just three years and $39 million from the Braves, presumably thanks to the threat of the qualifying offer. And Pomeranz, almost exclusively on the strength of two great months, will get nearly the same size guarantee. Wild. But also understandable.