The Padres are signing free-agent left-hander Drew Pomeranz, per a report from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal on Wednesday morning. According to Robert Murray, the deal is worth a whopping four years and $34 million — almost unfathomable a few months ago, considering Pomeranz seemed to be on the verge of getting DFA’d by the Giants around the All-Star break:
#Padres in agreement with free-agent reliever Drew Pomeranz, pending physical, sources tell The Athletic.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 27, 2019
Drew Pomeranz’s deal with Padres, according to sources: four-years, $34 million. Pending physical.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) November 27, 2019
The 31-year-old Pomeranz, who spent roughly a half-season with the Padres in 2016 and reached his lone All-Star Game, returns to San Diego for a second stint and will presumably look to find more success in his newfound vocation as a reliever. The longtime starter was converted to relief by the Giants in mid-July of this year after struggling in the rotation, and after he experienced increased velocity and succeeded in a limited trial, he was dealt to the Brewers (along with right-handed reliever Ray Black) for infield prospect Mauricio Dubón at the trade deadline. Milwaukee kept him in the bullpen, and Pomeranz ended up playing a huge role in the Brewers’ surge to the playoffs. Pomeranz threw for a 1.88 ERA over 28 relief appearances, striking out 50 and walking just eight over 28.2 innings — good for an unreal 15.7 strikeouts per nine out of the ‘pen.
Since the Padres already have a guy who is very arguably the top closer in the National League in Kirby Yates, Pomeranz will be freed up to play more of a fireman role, much like Andrew Miller in his prime. With the return of José Castillo from a season lost to injury and a potential opportunity for Matt Strahm to fully settle back into a bullpen role after both starting and relieving in 2019, the Padres could have a very imposing group of lefty relievers in 2020.