The San Diego Padres have signed free agent righty Garrett Richards to a two-year deal that includes $15 million in guaranteed money, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman and Yahoo’s Jeff Passan.
Sources: Richards has agreement with padres— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 29, 2018
Sources: Free agent right-handed Garrett Richards has agreed to a two-year deal with the San Diego Padres. The guarantee is for around $15 million.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 29, 2018
Prior to signing with the Padres today, Richards had spent his entire career with the Los Angeles Angels, who drafted him in the first round of the 2009 MLB draft. Through eight major-league seasons with Los Angeles, Richards was 45-38 with a 3.54 ERA over 170 appearances, 115 of which were starts. He pitched a total of 744.2 innings, allowing 342 runs on 662 hits. He also struck out 645 batters and walked 268 during his time with the Angels.
Richards has never been a dominant pitcher (he has never been an All-Star or a Cy Young candidate), but he has been a pitcher who has been consistent, and can be relied on to have a solid outing.
In 2018, Richards was 5-4 with a 3.66 ERA over 16 starts. through 76.1 innings, he allowed 43 runs on 64 hits, while walking just 34 batters and striking out 87.
Although Richards’ new deal with San Diego exceeds the two-year, $10 million deal that Heyman predicted, it appears to be a fair deal for a pitcher who can be trusted to have a decent season. Richards has yet to be a pitcher that everyone wants as their number one starter, but he has certainly been a player most teams want to have, and the Padres were clearly one of those teams, locking up the 30-year old California native for two seasons with a guaranteed salary of $15 million.
The San Diego Padres have been mentioned as a team that is nearing the end of their rebuild and approaching a season of contention, but they are not quite there yet. They need to wait for some of the top assets from their bountiful farm system to develop into big-leaguers, and even then will have to compete with a stacked National League West division.
Although the Padres aren’t quite ready to compete with the Los Angeles Dodgers or Colorado Rockies, they still made a terrific choice by signing Richards, and could potentially trade him in the near future if things continue to look bleak in San Diego.