The Padres’ bullpen gets a nice boost with the addition of the three-time All-Star reliever.
The Padres are in agreement on a deal with right-handed reliever Mark Melancon, according to The Athletic’s Dennis Lin:
The Padres and Mark Melancon are in agreement on a deal, pending a physical, sources tell The Athletic.— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) February 12, 2021
Melancon struggled in the first season of his four-year, $62 million contract with the Giants in 2017, but in the three seasons since, he’s actually looked more like the pitcher who was once one of the majors’ best closers. San Francisco dealt him to the Braves at the trade deadline in 2019, and he quickly became the Braves’ closer as they won the NL East title.
The soon-to-be 36-year-old right-hander was stellar in 2020, posting a 2.78 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP with 11 saves over 23 appearances (22.2 innings) in the regular season, then throwing 6.1 scoreless innings in the postseason. He also generated headlines after he caught Ozzie Albies home runs in the bullpen in back-to-back NLCS games.
While Padres manager Jayce Tingler hasn’t shown himself to be overly tied to traditional pitching roles, Melancon seems like a strong candidate to receive regular ninth-inning opportunities in San Diego. He’ll reunite with former Giants teammate Drew Pomeranz and should help fill the void left by Kirby Yates (who missed a large chunk of 2020 while injured) and Trevor Rosenthal, who appears unlikely to return after serving as the Padres’ closer down the stretch last season.