The All-Star break has come and gone, which means the non-waiver trade deadline is now around the corner. One name that has garnered plenty of interest on the trade market is the San Diego Padres left-handed reliever Brad Hand.
Among the teams with reported interest in Hand is the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are believed to be searching for a southpaw to add to the bullpen. Los Angeles reportedly would be willing to part with Brandon Morrow or Sergio Romo, or both, in a trade to acquire a reliever.
Hand is among the better bullpen options believed to be available, and though he’d welcome joining a team that’s in contention for a World Series, the 27-year-old sees reason for optimism with the Padres, according to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times:
“It would be awesome to go to a contender, but then again, I like what they’re doing in San Diego,” Hand said. “I think, in a few years, they’re going to have a good team.” He said he hasn’t thought much about the Dodgers, but he has heard their fans, loudly. “They have a good fan base,” he said. “They always travel to San Diego.”
Hand is in the midst of his best season of a seven-year Major League career. He has appeared in 43 games, yielding a 2.25 ERA, 2.75 FIP and 0.98 WHIP, while striking out 61 and walking 13 in 48 innings. Hand was the Padres’ lone representative in the 2017 MLB All-Star Game.
The Padres reportedly asked for top outfield prospect Alex Verdugo in a trade for Hand, which may not be something the Dodgers are likely to move forward with. General manager Farhan Zaidi said he did not envision the team trading Verdugo at the deadline.
On top of the strong season Hand is having, what presumably will increase the Padres’ asking price is the left-hander will not reach free agency until 2020.