The Padres have locked up one of the best relievers in baseball for a while. Unless they trade him.
All-Star lefty Brad Hand agreed to a 3-year contract extension worth $19.75 million with the Friars on Saturday. The deal includes a $10 million team optoin for the 2021 season and a $1 million buyout. The contract eliminates Hand’s remaining two arbitration years plus at least one season of free agency.
Early in 2016 Hand was designated for assignment by the Marlins and picked up by the Padres in a deal that flew under most radars. By the end of that year he had earned the complete trust of Manager Andy Green, who uses Hand anywhere from the 4th to the 9th innings.
Hand was San Diego’s lone All-Star in 2017 when he put up numbers similar to Indians star Andrew Miller, the 2016 ALCS MVP. His production, age (27 years old), and affordability made Hand an attractive trade chip but General Manager A.J. Preller held on to his most dynamic arm.
Of course the new contract does not mean Hand will not still be the subject of trade rumors but for now the Padres have the comfort of baseball's bullpen Swiss Army Knife to rely on again.