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Jacob deGrom: “Shorter hair will speed up my delivery”

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Perhaps Jacob deGrom doesn’t read the story of Samson as a cautionary tale. The Mets’ hurler sheared his shoulder-length locks at the start of the offseason and apparently believes the new haircut will make him stronger on the mound. “I did some research and I found that shorter hair actually will speed up my delivery and add two more miles to my fastball,” deGrom told the New York Daily News on Sunday (with an impish grin, one has to imagine).

While there’s no doubt that it would be incredible to see deGrom’s fastball routinely top 97.9 MPH on the radar gun, maybe he’s forgotten about another powerhouse pitcher with an ill-advised trim:

Tim Lincecum, pre-haircut (2009-2014): 3.72 ERA, 3.5 BB/9, 9.3 SO/9, 18.9 fWAR

Tim Lincecum, post-haircut (2015-2016): 5.81 ERA, 4.8 BB/9, 7.2 SO/9, -0.4 fWAR

Okay, sure, Lincecum’s abrupt decline and subsequent disappearance had far more factors in play than a poorly-timed trip to the barber, but I’m just saying that it looks like a bad omen.

Padres trade Brad Hand, Adam Cimber to the Indians for Francisco Mejia

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the San Diego Padres have traded closer Brad Hand and reliever Adam Cimber to the Cleveland Indians. In return the Padres are getting top catching prospect Francisco Mejia.

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.

Cimber is another fine reliever who, along with Hand, suddenly transforms the Indians’ bullpen. He’s a 27-year-old rookie, but he’s been a very useful one this year, posting a 3.17 ERA in 42 games, with a K/BB ratio of 51/10 in 48.1 innings. He’s pitched even better than that of late and has been particularly hard on righties. He’s under team control through 2023.

In Mejia, the Padres are getting the Indians’ top hitting prospect. A catcher — though not necessarily a great defensive one — Mejia has struggled in brief stints in the big leagues thus far but is a .291/.344/.438 hitter in six minor league seasons and, at times, has shown star potential. He turns 23 in October.

A nice piece for the Padres in the long term and an immediate upgrade to the Indians’ bullpen in the short term. In short: a baseball trade.