The Phillies Interest in Padres’ Brad Hand Should Build

Credit: USA Today Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies’ interest in Padres’ closer Brad Hand may build in the next month or so. If the Phillies stay in contention in the NL East, they could be in the market for relief help, and the Padres could be that perfect fit.

It is clear that San Diego Padres’ closer Brad Hand is one of, if not the hottest, commodities among trade talks this year.

Hand is an elite left-handed closer with a wipeout slider who makes hitters like Bryce Harper flail through pitches like they are swinging garden hoses. Hand is second in the National League with saves with 19, and it is no secret that general manager A.J. Preller is asking for the moon in trade talks.

Of course, there are plenty of teams that could use Hand in their bullpen, but few have the farm systems to match the asking price put on by Preller. However, there is one dark horse team that could use a left-handed reliever in their bullpen; the Philadelphia Phillies.

Currently, the Phillies have one left-handed reliever in their bullpen in Adam Morgan. Morgan currently sports a 5.29 ERA along with a 1.70 WHIP and recently gave up a walk-off grand slam to Jason Heyward, who until that point had hit a whopping one home run against lefties in the past two seasons. In each of his previous seasons in the City of Brotherly Love, he has never had a season where his final ERA rested below a 4.00.

The Philadelphia closer, Hector Neris, is another story on his own. The once-promising right-hander has struggled to a 5.01 ERA as a closer with a 1.54 WHIP. Batters are enjoying a healthy .280 batting average and Neris already seems to be losing his closer spot to younger players like Seranthony Dominguez. However, the Phillies are still only three games behind first place in the National League East and are fighting to stay alive. If the Phillies are still in the thick of the fight come the trade deadline, the Padres should be more than interested in swinging a deal with the Phils.

The Phillies should be interested in Brad Hand for many reasons. The most obvious is that Hand could slide right into the closer role without hesitation. Second, he would offer instant left-handed relief to a team in desperate need of it, as he is capable of throwing in the eighth inning as a set-up man while being absolutely stingy against left-handed batters, allowing two hits in 36 at-bats for a minuscule .056 batting average.

What may be the most important reason these two teams match up is that the Phillies can afford the price tag on Hand. With a farm system ranked fifth by MLB.com, the Phillies have many prospects that suit Preller’s wants. Hand is certainly worth a package of prospects, highlighted by one or two of Philadelphia’s top prospects with another lower ranked prospect.

Credit: MiLB

While it may be hard for Preller to acquire a prospect package filled with the best of the best of Philadelphia’s prospects, the Padres could still get an Andrew Miller-type deal for Hand. One who could headline a package is the second-ranked prospect in the Phils’ farm system, Adonis Medina. Medina is a three-pitch pitcher with a fastball that can sit at 92-94 MPH, a sharp slider, and a changeup that is looking like it could be an above-average pitch. All three of his pitches can generate strikes, while the fastball comes with late life leading to a healthy ground ball rate.

One prospect that is right up Preller’s alley is Venezuelan shortstop Arquimedes Gamboa, the eighth-ranked prospect on MLB.com. The 20-year-old struggled in his first two seasons of pro ball, but he has started to pick things up as of late and has made improvements to his strike zone adjustment, shown by his 22 walks against 45 strikeouts. While he has not shown much power yet, the switch-hitter is still growing and will add strength as he gets older. Gamboa is the type of player that Preller loves to acquire; a young, international infielder with a solid hit tool and a good glove. Don’t be surprised if his name shows up in a trade with the Padres.

The Padres would surely want at least one more player to complete the package, and one such prospect who could fit the bill is the twenty-seventh ranked prospect, Simon Muzziotti. He is a former member of the Boston Red Sox who was released after Major League Baseball voided his contract with the team for signing infraction. He was picked up by the Phillies and has become a decent piece for them. Muzzioti has a very high contact rate and does not strike out a high clip, evident by the fact that he struck out only eight times in 134 at-bats last year. He is a line-drive hitter and will most likely add power as he grows. He could be a prospect the Padres stash on the minor league disabled list as he did fracture his left index finger, but he could be a valuable piece for San Diego in the future.

The Padres could ask for an extra throw-in piece, but the package described above would still be a good prospect haul for Hand. The Phillies could afford to pay the price for Hand and both sides could come away with a victory as Philadelphia gets their top-tier closer and San Diego gets a good prospect haul that could have an impact on their future.

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Jason Freund
I am currently attending Grossmont College and have been a big fan of San Diego Sports for years. I currently have media credentials with the San Diego Sockers and am a proud member of the KUSI Prep Pigskin Report. My future goal is to work as a reporter for a proffesional sports team. I look forward to contributing to this site and hope to write some great stories.

This article has 13 Comments

  1. At this stage the club ought to keep Hand. He’s been great and is signed through 2020, with an option for 2021. Now if they can get the kind of deal the NYY got for Chapman (Torres) then okay. But it doesn’t seem teams are giving up stud prospects for relievers anymore, it’s too easy to sign them as free agents, or develop them.
    And there’s no need for Philly to rush. A team that might feel the urgency is more like Seattle or Anaheim, crappy teams with a shot. Problem is both those farm systems suck. The team that really needs him is Houston, but they are notoriously unwilling to deal prospects.

  2. Brad Hand, Renfroe, Luchessi, and Villanueva for Enyel De Los Santos? The Phils would probably hang up. Who trades what will (greatly) increase in value for what will (quickly) decrease in value, and will be 100% worthless in a matter of months … and still gets called a genius? Only the Rock Star! What GM pays millions of dollars to players to actively compete against them … and still gets to keep his job? The one and only Rock Star!!! What GM inverts his advantage and leverage (gives it away to other GM’s or agents) and is still fiercely defended and praised, despite a trail of folly??? THE Rock Star! [is anyone else concerned that the Padres have not announced a well-below slot signing for their 1st round pick? … not to mention Libertore signed for much, MUCH less than the 7th slot]

    1. What GM builds the top farm system in baseball with elite talent in 2 years? That’s right, the Rock Star GM. Has he made his mistakes, sure every GM has, but we/you have to give this rebuild time before we can erect a statue of Preller or burn him at the stake. Every outlet says the Padres are going to be a force in the near future, I am going to hope they are all correct and you are not.

      1. 1. They (“Every outlet”) said the same 6 years ago… and here we are, in last place every year, or just about. 2. I never said anything about the farm system or the future, so I’m not sure how you can hope I am not correct. 3. Thanks for proving my point. 4. The Rock Star took a great farm system, destroyed it, and was given millions of dollars and several high draft picks due to his own folly to rebuild it. He deserves credit for some moves, but not really for the overall quality of the system (I’d much rather have the Braves or Yankees system).

        1. The system that Preller came into did not have nearly the high impact talent that this system has now. They were highly regarded for all of the high floor prospects they had, now it’s the high ceiling guys. True, you didn’t mention the farm system, but with as negative as you are when it comes to Preller, I just assumed you would have a problem with all of the great work he has done there, sorry for assuming. As far as farm systems go, the only one that rivals the Padres is the Braves and it could very well be a push. The Yankees system is being overly touted as is usual with the Yankees and Red Sox systems in my opinion. Of course, with Dombroski going “all in”, their isn’t a big enough pair of rose colored glasses to see anything their right now.

          1. The Yankee farm system has produced Severino, Judge, Torres, Andujar, Betances, and Sanchez in the last few years. If just one SDP prospect reaches that level I’d be thrilled. Instead we watch Trea Turner play for Washington, and, well that’s about it. All the other prospects have done jack.

      2. To be fair Dustin, there are no awards for having a great farm system, and we don’t have one yet. It’s produced very little. It simply slated as good or great depending on who you talk to. The word “prospect” also doesn’t mean anything but a potential. Preller’s job is to put a competitive team on the field and that’s something we haven’t seen in 10 years, five or six of those AJ has been at the helm.

        The Padres marketing efforts have been effective in having us bs ourselves into waiting. All the articles in the world don’t put wins in the column though, and that again, is Preller’s job to accommodate.

  3. I agree with Kevin, that deal seems like a lite return for the Padres. I would like to think that the Padres would be able to get a package headlined by a top 25 prospect or 2 top 50. When you look at the top 25, according to MLB.com, you see a lot of teams not in position to deal their top guys as they are in the middle of rebuilds like the Padres.

    Of the contending teams who could use Hand, you see names like: Robles, Whitley, Mejia, Soto, Tucker, McKenzie, Sanchez, Wright and Soroka. If you look at the top 50, you will find 2 players from other contenders such as the Yankees, Dodgers and 3 more from the Braves.

    The way I see it, the Padres need to get the Braves involved in this. They have the top prospects to deal, are in contention, could use help in the rotation (Ross) and bullpen (Hand) and have a GM who is not afraid to make big deals (Alex Anthopolous). Although I wouldn’t normally want to package Ross and Hand as they could get a nice haul back separately, the possible return from the Braves for both would most likely trump anything they could get separately. Preller should meet up with the team later this week in Georgia to have some face to face discussions with AA.

    1. Sixto Sanchez or no deal w the Phil’s.
      Hand is worth more than Chapman, and Miller in my opinion.
      I’d rather package them and get the absolute best prospects we can get. We have plenty of depth. We need can’t misses so to speak.

  4. I would disagree, this isn’t a package worth dealing one of the best left handed closers in the game with control until 2020

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