San Diego Padres Trade Brad Hand, Adam Cimber to the Cleveland Indians for Francisco Mejia (Giuseppe)

The Cleveland Indians announced Thursday that they acquired All-Star closer Brad Hand and pitcher Adam Cimber from the San Diego Padres in exchange for top catching prospect Francisco Mejia.  

Brad Hand has a 3.05 ERA and 65/15 strikeout/walk ratio and 24 saves over 44.1 innings of work this season. Hand will provide insurance for Cleveland for the next two seasons with both Andrew Miller and Cody Allen set to hit Free Agency this offseason. The 2017 All-Star closer is under contract for this year and 2019 for a total of $13.5 million, with a $10 million club option for 2021. Hand is a 2-time All-Star and the centerpiece of this deal.

Adam Cimber is a 27-year-old rookie and has been a stud thus far in 2018, posting a 3.17 ERA in 42 games, with a strikeout/walk ratio of 51/10 in 48.1 innings. Cimber has a bright future and is under team control until 2023.

The Cleveland Indians had a dominant bullpen in 2017 but after Joe Smith and Bryan Shaw were lost to free agency, superstar reliever Andrew Miller hit the Disabled List, Dan Otero’s ERA skyrocketed from 2.85 to 5.60, and stud closer Cody Allen is currently posting a 4.66 ERA, the bullpen has gone from Cleveland’s biggest strength to its biggest weakness. Cleveland currently leads the meager American League Central by 7½ games, but their bullpen is second-to-last in the league in ERA at 5.28. Last season, the Indians had the best bullpen ERA in baseball. Hand fills a huge need for Cleveland, and Adam Cimber should contribute as well.

The 22-year-old Francisco Mejia has appeared in just one MLB game this season, but he is a highly ranked prospect due to his above-average hitting ability. In 79 games at the Triple-A level, Mejia is hitting .279 with seven home runs and 45 runs batted in this season. With the acquisition of Mejia, the Padres now have three of baseball’s top six prospects in Keith Law’s midseason prospect rankings. Those highly touted prospects are shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (No. 1 overall), catcher Francisco Mejia (No. 5) and pitcher MacKenzie Gore (No. 6).

This was a solid trade overall on both sides with Cleveland’s struggling bullpen getting some support with All-Star Brad Hand and rookie sensation Adam Cimber while the Padres continue to build for the future by bolstering their Minor Leagues. The Indians are taking a win now approach while the Padres are, understandably, building for the future.

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