The Cleveland Indians entered the second half with a glaring need in the bullpen. On Thursday, the day before the second half of the season begins, they addressed it in a major way.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Cleveland struck a deal with the San Diego Padres to land left-handed reliever Brad Hand and righty Adam Cimber for catching prospect Francisco Mejia.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 19, 2018
It’s a major shakeup for Cleveland’ bullpen and one that should pay off immediately. Entering the All-Star Break, the Indians’ bullpen had the second-worst ERA in the majors and little depth at the position.
Now they add Hand, who has recorded a 2.47 ERA in 123.2 innings since 2017. Better yet for Cleveland, he is under contract control through 2021.
The addition of Cimber should also help solidify this bullpen. In 48.1 innings this season, the 27-year-old has a 1.08 WHIP, 3.17 ERA and has struck out 51 batters. He has been even better this month with a 2.16 ERA and .143 BAA in 8.1 innings of relief.
In exchange for the two premium relievers, San Diego lands its catcher of the future. Mejia, is a 22-year-old catcher rated by MLB.com as Cleveland’s No. 1 prospect. He has performed well in Triple-A this season with a .279 batting average, .755 OPS, seven home runs and 22 doubles in 79 games.
It should only be a matter of time before the Padres call him up and start giving him more at-bats over Austin Hedges. San Diego’s future is looking even more promising with the addition of Mejia to one of the best farm systems in all of baseball.