In what will surely be a season-altering move, the Diamondbacks have acquired right-hander Lucas Harrell from the Astros for a player to be named later or cash considerations. He’ll be assigned to Triple-A Reno, where he’ll presumably serve as depth for the starting rotation.
Harrell successfully cleared waivers after being designated for assignment earlier this month, which is an indication of how far his stock has fallen since he posted a 3.76 ERA over 32 starts in 2012. The 28-year-old had an ugly 5.86 ERA and a league-leading 88 walks in 153 2/3 innings last year and was finally given the boot after posting a 9.49 ERA in three starts this year.
The Astros likely would have received a nice return had they traded Harrell after his 2012 season, but they either decided to keep him around or didn’t find an offer to their liking. Still, it looks like a missed opportunity now.
Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.
Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.
Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.