Padres trade Hand, Cimber to Indians for top prospect Mejia

SAN DIEGO– The San Diego Padres have reportedly dealt relievers Brad Hand and Adam Cimber to the Cleveland Indians. In return, they have acquired C Francisco Mejia, the No. 15 prospect in baseball.

Hand, who was acquired by the Padres via a waiver claim in 2016, signed three-year, $19.75M deal with a club option for 2021 in January. The left-hander proved worthy of his extension, going 24/29 in save opportunities while striking out more than 13 batters per nine innings in the season’s first half. His performance earned him his second All-Star selection in as many years.

The left-hander appeared in 195 games in his 2+ years as a Padre, accumulating a sparkling 2.66 ERA while striking out nearly 12 batters per 9 innings. He has thrown more innings than any reliever in baseball (213) since then.

Adam Cimber, who was selected by the Padres in the 9th round of the 2013 draft, was a surprise add to the Opening Day roster after a solid spring training. He has been very good out of the Padres ‘pen, recording a 3.17 ERA and 1.1 fWAR in 48 1/3 innings.

It has been well-documented that the Indians have had their fair share of bullpen struggles. By acquiring the duo, the AL Central leaders get two relievers that will help them now as well as in the future. Hand is under contract through 2021, Cimber through 2023.

In Mejia, the Padres acquire MLB Pipeline’s top catching prospect as well as the No. 15 prospect in all of baseball. The D.R. native, who will turn 23 in October, is hitting .279 with seven home runs after a strong June in Triple-A Columbus. In June, the switch-hitter slashed .455/.476/.717 with a 1.193 OPS. He hit 14 doubles, four home runs and registered 23 RBI.

In 2016, Mejia recorded a 50-game hit streak, the fourth longest in minor league history.

Mejia has seen some time in the outfield this season, but the Padres’ plans for him are apparently to keep him at the catching position:

With the move, the Padres now have 10 top 100 prospects: