The San Diego Padres are trading All-Star closer Brad Hand to the Indians, sources told The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal and Robert Murray on Thursday. The Padres reportedly will receive 22-year-old catcher/outfielder Francisco Mejia, who MLB.com ranks as the top prospect in the Indians' farm system and the No. 15 prospect in all of baseball. The bullpen, which helped the team to the 2016 World Series, remains a strength with Andrew Miller and Cody Allen at the back end. Perhaps most importantly for Cleveland, Hand remains under team control through 2021, after having signed a three-year, $19.75 million contract in January.
The Indians lead the AL Central by 7 ½ games over Minnesota. A 13.2 K/9 rate across 44.1 innings on the season, Hand has established himself as one of the premier left-handed relievers in the game.
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Cleveland's pitching staff has been one of the best in baseball anchored by right-hander Corey Kluber. Though he wasn't highly regarded entering the season, the submariner has posted a 3.17 ERA (127 ERA+) and 5.10 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 48 innings.
Hand has 24 saves in 29 opportunities this season with a 3.05 ERA.
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Cimber is in his first year in the majors but has produced insanely well for a 27-year-old rookie.
Mejía was batting.279 with seven home runs and 45 RBIs in 79 games for Triple-A Columbus.
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In 67 games last season , Schroder averaged a career-best 19.4 points per game, in addition to 6.2 assists and 3.1 rebounds. It was the first time in his career that he scored less than 20 points per game in a single season.