Padres set to add Mark Melancon to already solid bullpen

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The San Diego Padres have had an active offseason, and now they’ll add Mark Melancon to the back end of their bullpen. 

The San Diego Padres have had an active offseason, with adding Blake Snell, Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove to the starting rotation as the prominent moves. But they are not done, as Dennis Lin of The Athletic was first to report they’ve agreed to a deal with reliever Mark Melancon. The deal is pending a physical, and terms have not yet been disclosed.

Melancon spent part of the 2019 season and entire short 2020 campaign with the Atlanta Braves, totaling 22 saves with a 3.30 ERA, a 7.8 K/9 (26.3 percent strikeout rate) and 1.9 BB/9 (6.2 percent walk rate) over that span (46 appearances). Prior to that he spent two-plus seasons with the San Francisco Giants, with injuries limiting him in 2017 and 2018, after signing a four-year, $62 million deal that was briefly a record for a reliever.

Padres add Melancon to solid bullpen

The Padres lost Kirby Yates, the 2019 major league save leader (41), to the Toronto Blue Jays in free agency. But Yates also pitched just six games last season due to an elbow injury, and they seem to fade from seriously retaining him.

Padres manager Jayce Tingler already had Drew Pomeranz and Emilio Pagan as late-inning options to close games, and a deep bullpen overall. Now Melancon, with a sub-3.00 career ERA, 205 career saves and ground ball-heavy contact inducement (61 percent ground ball rate over the last two seasons; 56.4 percent for his career) are in the mix.

The Padres’ lineup was quite good last year, and should remain good for years to come. Now they’ve capped a focus on the pitching staff this offseason by adding arguably the best available reliever to the bullpen, as they continue to make a run at the defending champion Dodgers in the NL West.

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