Padres Acquire Mike Clevinger From Indians In Massive Nine-Player Deal
The Padres made four trades over the weekend to establish themselves as the deadline's biggest buyers.
They made their largest and flashiest purchase Monday morning with the deadline just over four hours away.
The Padres acquired Mike Clevinger from the Indians to give them another frontline starter as they push for their first postseason berth since 2006. The Padres also acquired outfielder Greg Allen—a San Diego State product—and a player to be named later.
In return, the Indians received catcher Austin Hedges, righthander Cal Quantrill, outfielder Josh Naylor and three of San Diego's Top 30 prospects in shortstop Gabriel Arias, lefthander Joey Cantillo and second baseman Owen Miller.
In just under 48 hours, the Padres have made five trades involving 24 players.
Mike Clevinger, RHP
Clevinger has been one of the American League's best starters with a 2.97 ERA over the past four seasons. He's dealt with injuries the past two seasons but has been effective when healthy. Clevinger was suspended by the Indians for leaving the team hotel and violating COVID-19-related protocols and lying about it, but he returned to the Indians' rotation last week and pitched six innings with two runs allowed in his first game back. He will team with Dinelson Lamet to give the Padres an electrifying 1-2 punch at the front of their rotation. He is arbitration-eligible and won't be a free agent until after the 2022 season.
Greg Allen, OF
Allen returns home as a product of Chula Vista's Hilltop High and San Diego State. His best asset is his speed and defense in center field. He doesn't offer much offensively and fits as a late-game defensive replacement and pinch-runner for the Padres.
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Cal Quantrill, RHP
The eighth overall pick in 2016, Quantrill recovered from Tommy John surgery in college to become a valuable part of the Padres pitching staff, although he never quite reached the mid-to-front-of-the-rotation ceiling hoped for when he was drafted. Quantrill started last season and worked as a Swiss Army knife for the Padres this year, pitching as a starter, long reliever, short reliever and closer and ably filled whatever role was called upon. Quantrill has a starter's frame and delivery and a three-pitch arsenal with a 94-95 mph fastball and a mid-80s slider and changeup. Both of his secondaries lack consistency and he struggles with sequencing and command at times, but he has the tools and athleticism to start. Cleveland's famed pitching development program will get a chance to work with him and see if they can get him on track as a starter. If not, he can still work effectively in a variety of roles in the Indians bullpen.
Josh Naylor, OF
Naylor is a thickly-built slugger who controls the strike zone and shows tremendous power. He has good hand-eye coordination and doesn't strike out much, but he is still working to improve his pitch selection and swing at pitches he can drive. He'll often swing at pitches he can't do much with, leading to weak grounders and poor contact, but when he swings at the right pitches he crushes them. Naylor is a thick, heavyset former first baseman who is a liability defensively in the outfield. He is best served as a DH, but with Franmil Reyes locked into that spot, he'll have to work on his speed (25th percentile sprint speed) and overall agility to play as a fringe-average corner outfielder. His mix of plate discipline, hand-eye coordination and massive raw power gives him a chance to hit enough to make his defensive concerns moot if he can improve his pitch selection.
Austin Hedges, C
Hedges is on the short list for the best defensive catchers in baseball. He's an elite pitch framer, shuts down run games with his strong, accurate arm and is an excellent game-caller with top-notch leadership intangibles behind the plate. The issue is Hedges is one of the worst hitters in major league history (.199/.257/.359) to have received as many plate appearances as he has. He swings to only one spot with a grooved swing, and any pitch not on that plane gets by him. When the pitcher does throw it on Hedges' swing plane, he does have enough power to drive the ball out to left for home runs. Hedges defense will be his main contribution. He will get to work with Cleveland's talented group of young arms and could help them get even better.
Gabriel Arias, SS
Arias ranked as the Padres No. 9 prospect and is one of the most gifted defensive shortstops in the minor leagues. He's a silky smooth, agile defender with soft hands, a cannon for an arm and the range to make every play in all directions. Evaluators predict multiple Gold Gloves in Arias' future if he can hit enough to play everyday, which is a question. Arias has a smooth swing and shocking plus raw power out of his thin frame, but he is prone to swinging at pitches below the strike zone and often gets himself out with poor swing decisions. When he stays in the strike zone he whacks pitches to all fields and looks like a future all-star. Arias made great strides with his plate discipline in the second half last year at high Class A Lake Elsinore and turned in a strong season because of it. Whether he becomes a first-division, everyday shortstop or a defensive replacement will be determined by whether he keeps making those strides moving forward.
Joey Cantillo, LHP
Cantillo ranked as the Padres No. 11 prospect and became a favorite of opposing evaluators the last two seasons. He's a tall, angular lefty with some funk and deception in his delivery and improving stuff. His fastball sits 88-91 mph and touched 94 mph for the first time last year. That increased fastball velocity helped his plus changeup play up even more, to the point some evaluators grade it a plus-plus pitch. Cantillo's curveball is a work in progress but is improving with the right spin and shape. He throws everything for strikes and draws rave reviews for his makeup and competitiveness on the mound. Cantillo is still young and adding velocity, so his ceiling could increase in time. For now, most evaluators see him as a solid potential back-of-the-rotation lefthander who succeeds on deception, control and keeping hitters off-balance with his fastball-changeup combination.
Owen Miller, 2B
Miller ranked as the Padres No. 15 prospect and was one of the organization's best pure hitters. He takes good at-bats, stays balanced and on time in his swing and frequently finds the barrel. He lines the ball hard from line-to-line and has enough power to project for double-digit home runs, although his flat stroke is currently more geared for contact. Miller is a sneaky good athlete for his strong frame and has played a capable shortstop, but his range and below-average arm make him best-suited for second base. Miller is extremely steady and reliable on both sides of the ball. He has drawn comparisons to Mark Loretta and should be in position to make his major league debut within the next year.