After numerous setbacks that caused him to miss the entire second half of last season and kept him sidelined throughout the offseason Jesse Crain is finally throwing again.
Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that Crain threw Monday and plans to do so again today and Friday as he prepares for spring training with the Astros.
Crain, who signed a one-year, $3.25 million deal to be Houston’s likely closer, told McTaggart that “nothing was bothering me” with his surgically repaired biceps and he’s “headed in the right direction.” However, he’ll definitely be behind the other pitchers in Astros camp and is no sure thing to be ready for Opening Day.
Ken Rosenthal reports that the San Diego Padres have traded closer Brad Hand to the Cleveland Indians. No details have yet been reported on the return.
Hand, the Padres’ All-Star closer, has a 3.05 ERA and 65/15 K/BB ratio and 24 saves over over 44.1 innings of work this season. In addition to helping an Indians bullpen which has struggled mightily this season, Hand will provide an insurance policy for the next two seasons given that both Andrew Miller and Cody Allen are due to hit free agency this winter. Hand, meanwhile, is under contract for this year and next for a total of $13.5 million, with a $10 million club option for 2021.
We’ll update further when the players heading back to San Diego are known.