The Padres have agreed to a deal with free-agent reliever
Melancon, 36 next month, adds a former All-Star closer to an already deep Friars bullpen. He’ll give skipper Jayce Tingler another option for ninth-inning work, joining Drew Pomeranz and Emilio Pagan as closer candidates in San Diego. Based on his recent work, Melancon could well jump to the front of the line as the favorite for saves.
Melancon just finished up the final season of a four-year, $62MM contract that briefly stood as the all-time record for a reliever. The deal didn’t exactly pay dividends for the Giants, as Melancon battled injuries in both 2017 and 2018, but he bounced back with a strong showing in 2019 and was quite strong over the past season-plus following a trade to the Braves.
Melancon pitched 43 2/3 innings with Atlanta, racking up 22 saves while posting strong strikeout and walk percentages (26.3 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively). He’s also one of the game’s leading ground-ball pitchers, evidenced by a whopping 61.4 percent mark over the past two years.
More to come.