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Padres trade Clayton Richard to Blue Jays

San Diego acquires minor-league OF Connor Panas, opens up door for club to acquire quality starter.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at San Diego Padres Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres have sent starter Clayton Richard and cash considerations to the Blue Jays in exchange for minor league outfielder Connor Panas, the clubs announced.

Richard, who was designated for assignment on Dec. 20, had been a serviceable starter for San Diego for parts of eight of his 10 major league seasons, going 58-68 with a 4.37 ERA while throwing 1,046 13 innings for the Padres. However, Richard has had a tough time on the hill over the last two seasons, going 15-26 while posting a 5.03 ERA and allowing 399 hits, including a MLB-high 240 hits in 2017. This year, Richard pitched to a 5.33 ERA before undergoing season-ending left knee surgery in late August.

By moving Richard, this could open up the door for the Padres to try to acquire a quality starter for their young rotation. One of those quality arms happen to be Blue Jays ace Marcus Stroman, as the two clubs were reportedly discussing a deal involving him this week.

For now, the Padres added a quality outfielder in Panas to their already loaded farm system.

Panas played in 105 games for Double-A New Hampshire last season and batted .232 with 16 doubles, two triples, nine home runs and 39 RBI. In 2017, the 25-year-old left-handed hitter was named a Organizational All-Star for the Blue Jays and a postseason Florida State League All-Star for Single-A Dunedin after slashing .276/.364/.475 with 20 doubles, 18 home runs and 55 RBI in 114 games.

As for the Blue Jays, they hope Richard can give them quality innings and get back to pitching well. His best season was in 2010, when he posted a 14-9 record with a 3.75 ERA in 33 starts.