San Diego Padres Acquire Top Catching Prospect Francisco Mejia
After weeks of speculation, the San Diego Padres and Cleveland Indians agreed on a three-player trade this morning.
Brad Hand gives the Indians much needed help in their bullpen, since he racked up 24 saves for the Padres this season. He also signed a three-year deal in January that pays him $3.5 million this season, $6.5 million next year, and $7 million in 2020. Adam Cimber, a 27-year old submarine-style reliever who spent the 2017 season in El Paso, is 3-5 with a 3.17 ERA for the Padres this season. Kirby Yates, who has been outstanding in a setup role, will now slot into the closer's job for San Diego.
For the Padres, Francisco Mejia is considered the top catching prospect in baseball and the 15th best overall prospect in the game according to MLB Pipeline. The Indians have been playing Mejia in the outfield this season, since they preferred Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez at catcher. Mejia's bat has always been his calling card, but defensively he has been considered a work in progress behind the plate. However, he is extremely athletic and has the ability to play third base and the outfield. For now, the Padres are keeping Mejia at catcher.
A.J. Preller, executive vice president and general manager of the Padres said during a conference call today that Mejia will report to El Paso. A corresponding big league roster move will be made later this evening. As for other trades, Preller said that he will continue to talk with other teams until the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31st.