Mike Clevinger Trade: Quick Analysis Of Padres-Indians Reported Deal

The Padres and Indians started deadline day with a reported blockbuster

by Mike Cole

August 31, 2020

The San Diego Padres are trying to win the World Series in 2020 and feel they have a legitimate chance to do so. They’ve made that loud and clear over the last couple of days.

The Padres followed up a busy Sunday by making a Monday morning splash when they reportedly acquired hard-throwing right-handed pitcher Mike Clevinger from the Cleveland Indians ahead of the 4 p.m. ET MLB trade deadline.

In the last day-plus, the Padres have acquired Clevinger, first baseman Mitch Moreland, utilityman Austin Nola and catcher Jason Castro. In the process, general manager A.J. Preller has addressed all of his roster’s glaring needs.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the deal:

San Diego acquires: RHP Mike Clevinger, OF Greg Allen, player to be named later
Cleveland acquires: OF Josh Naylor, RHP Cal Quantrill, C Austin Hedges, SS Gabriel Arias, SS Owen Miller, LHP Joey Cantillo


San Diego: Again, the Padres get the top-end starting pitching help they needed to seemingly punctuate a massive trade deadline. In doing so, though, they obviously had to give up a lot. MLB Pipeline ranks Arias the organization’s No. 7 prospect, while Cantillo checks in at No. 9, and Miller sits at No. 11. Hedges is a former top prospect himself. But that’s the going rate for a controllable young pitcher who is 39-19 with a 2.97 ERA and 10 strikeouts per nine innings since the start of 2017. Allen is having a miserable season offensive, but he’s a decent glove guy with good speed and could be a solid bench piece down the stretch and into the playoffs. The bottom line is the Padres solidified their standing as a legit World Series contender by acquiring a front-line pitcher without having to part with an elite prospect, instead dealing largely blocked young players.

Cleveland: Clevinger obviously had fallen out of favor with the Tribe after he and Zach Plesac recently broke protocol in a road trip to Chicago. But maybe this is some sort of extreme addition by subtraction, at least in the short run. Cleveland is 11-6 since that road trip to the Windy City. Of course, it stings to part with such a young pitcher with as much upside as Clevinger, but it sure looks like the Indians maximized the return. Receiving three essentially top-10 prospects from one of the best farm systems in baseball is pretty solid, even if none of them are can’t-miss. Quantrill is also having a fine year out of the San Diego bullpen (171 ERA+), and Hedges’ ceiling is that of an elite defensive catcher. If it all hits right, it could be a franchise-altering deal for the Indians. At the very least, it’s adding a few players who almost certainly will contribute (to varying levels) at the major league level.

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