Whether it's through trades or free agents the Padres have been kicking the tires on all kinds of starting pitchers this off-season. The only one they landed was Zach Davies in a trade that sent Eric Lauer to Milwaukee.
So instead of supplementing the starters they've bolstered the bullpen, adding Drew Pomeranz and Pierce Johnson … and now retaining a guy who most Friars fans thought would be gone.
Craig Stammen is coming back on a reported 2-year deal worth $9 million. There's also a team option for a 3rd year as well as performance bonuses.
Stammen was tremendous in his first two years in San Diego but last season had trouble with location and got hurt by the home run, giving up 13 long balls including four in one inning against the Nationals. But after missing the 2016 season with injury and joining the Padres in 2017 Stammen has been remarkably durable.
He's one of just seven pitchers in baseball to appear in at least 70 games each of the last two seasons. Stammen turns 36 in March but he hasn't lost any velocity on his fastball yet. Stammen was the setup man for Brad Hand and Kirby Yates over the last three seasons but moving forward he'll most likely be handling earlier innings.
One role that will not change is his position as mentor. Stammen has been a fantastic sounding board for the slew of young pitchers the Padres are bringing up, both starters and relievers. The Padres are hoping his presence helps the young talent fulfill its substantial potential.