Padres Win Clevinger Sweepstakes in Massive Deadline Deal

AJ Preller managed to hold onto his most coveted prospects, while landing a highly sought after frontline starter.

After making four trades in two days, people figured AJ Preller still wasn't finished tinkering with the Padres roster after Sunday night.

Boy were they right.

The Padres General Manager landed a massive piece Monday morning, adding starting pitcher Mike Clevinger from the Indians in a nine-player deal. Hilltop High grad and former Aztec Greg Allen will join San Diego's outfield, with a player to be named later on the way. Preller parted with catcher Austin Hedges, pitcher Cal Quantrill, and outfielder Josh Naylor from the big league roster. Prospects Gabriel Arias, Owen Miller and Joey Cantillo were also included.

Clevinger bolsters a rotation that has had some surprising struggles this season. The righty has only made four starts, due to time spent away from the team after a violation of COVID-19 related protocols. So far this season he has posted a 3.18 ERA in 22.2 innings. He's coming off a 2019 campaign where he posted a 2.71 ERA in 21 starts. Clevinger struck out 169 hitters over 126 innings, while allowing just 39 walks and 10 home runs.

Oh, and his stuff is just plain nasty.

Last season he won a string of 10 straight decisions, spanning from July to September. He also tossed 100 or more pitches in 13 consecutive starts. His numbers since the start of 2018 are comparable with some of the best pitchers in the American League. He ranks top-10 win ERA (2.92), WHIP (1.13), opponents average (.219), and strikeouts per nine innings (10.25).

His .661 winning percentage is fourth highest among active big leaguers with at least 50 starts.

And this is no rental, the 29-year-old remains under team control until 2022. It's a move that will help the Padres stay in contention for the coming years.

Clevinger slots into a rotation that includes Dinelson Lamet, Chris Paddack, Garrett Richards and Zach Davies. Lamet has been the strongest of the group, while Davies has been a pleasant surprise. Paddack and Richards struggled in the first half of the season. Jayce Tingler had filled the final rotation spot by committee.

Not anymore.

Along with Clevinger, Allen returns to hims hometown. The 27-year-old played for Tony Gwynn at SDSU, before getting picked by Cleveland in the sixth round of the 2014 MLB Draft. His best season came in 2018 when he stole 21 bags, drove in 20 runs and hit .257. So far in 2020 he's hitting just .160, but has had knocks in four of his last six games.

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