The San Diego Padres — who else? — pulled off the most notable trade of the 2020 season with the deadline approaching, acquiring Mike Clevinger from the Cleveland Indians, sources confirmed to Yahoo Sports.
Robert Murray first reported the deal. It’s the fifth trade the Padres and GM A.J. Preller have swung in the past week. The Padres — racing toward their first postseason berth in 13 years behind Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado — are arguably the most fascinating team in baseball in 2020. Entering Monday, they had the third-best record in the National League despite sitting a distant second place to the Dodgers in the NL West.
BREAKING: Padres acquire Mike Clevinger.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) August 31, 2020
Clevinger, 29, had fallen out of favor in Cleveland after violating the league's healthy and safety protocols. He was briefly demoted to Cleveland's alternate training site — along with fellow pitcher Zach Plesac — after going out with friends during a trip to Chicago. Clevinger returned to the majors on Aug. 26.
Even though reports suggested a trade was imminent, it's still a stunning to see team tied for first place trade away one of its top three pitchers. Dating back to 2017, Clevinger has a 2.97 ERA, 3.43 FIP and 10.2 K/9 over 78 starts and six relief appearances. The ERA ranks 7th in the majors over that time among pitchers with at least 400 innings.
Along with Shane Bieber, Aaron Civale and the aforementioned Plesac, Clevinger has helped Cleveland maintain an elite rotation even after trading Trevor Bauer last season and Corey Kluber during the offseason.
In return, the Indians — near locks to make the postseason in a stratified American League — will receive a few young major leaguers, including right-handed pitcher Cal Quantrill and outfielder Josh Naylor, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Naylor, who was batting .278 in limited time this season with a stacked Padres offense, could immediately slot into Cleveland’s lineup. As a whole, Cleveland outfielders are hitting .186/.284/.287 this season, the second-worst offensive outfield baseball, according to FanGraphs’ wRC+ metric.
Shortstop prospect Gabriel Arias, the seventh-ranked prospect in a loaded Padres farm system according to MLB Pipeline, will also head to Cleveland. The deal also includes catcher Austin Hedges. The Padres traded for two new catchers on Sunday. The complete deal, confirmed by Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown looks like this:
Padres receive: RHP Mike Clevinger, OF Greg Allen, player to be named later.
Cleveland receives: RHP Cal Quantrill, LF Josh Naylor, C Austin Hedges, SS Gabriel Arias, LHP Joey Cantillo, SS Owen Miller.
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