Continuing an intense, busy offseason, the San Diego Padres acquired right-handed reliever Shawn Kelley from the New York Yankees on Monday, according to a report from Robert Murray of MLB Daily Rumors.
The deal adds a power arm to the Padres’ bullpen, as Kelley racked up the strikeouts last season in the Bronx, averaging 11.9 strikeouts-per-nine, making 59 appearances. His 4.53 earned run average is unsightly to the casual fan, but a 3.02 FIP indicates a much brighter picture for the 30-year-old right-hander, who is a former 13th-round pick of the Seattle Mariners.
In the last two seasons, Kelley has pitched in 57 and 59 games, respectively, while notching 138 strikeouts in just 105 innings of work. He gives San Diego another potential impact arm that will join the likes of Joaquin Benoit, Nick Vincent, Kevin Quackenbush, Dale Thayer and left-hander Alex Torres in the bullpen of manager Bud Black. With the acquisitions of Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers and Will Middlebrooks, first-year GM A.J. Preller seems to have, at the very least, addressed the club’s offensive woes and now is shoring up a solid pitching staff.
Heading to New York is minor leaguer Johnny Barbato, who suffered an elbow injury in May that may or may not require Tommy John surgery. As the closer for the Padres’ Double-A affiliate San Antonio Missions, the right-hander pitched 31 1/3 innings to the tune of a 2.87 ERA before losing the rest of his season to the injury. The former sixth-round pick of San Diego posted a 1.149 WHIP to go along with 9.5 strikeouts-per-nine and a 3.30 strikeout-to-walk ratio, as well.
This move again shows a new approach for New York general manager Brian Cashman, who is clearly looking to make his team younger heading into 2015. Other notable moves this offseason involved the acquisition of both Didi Gregorius and Nathan Eovaldi – both of whom are young, high-upside talents.