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Nationals sign David Goforth to minor league deal

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The Nationals have signed free agent reliever David Goforth to a minor league deal, the team confirmed Saturday. The deal includes an invite to spring training.

Goforth, 29, completed his third campaign with the Brewers in 2017. The right-hander lasted just four days in the majors, tossing one scoreless inning before getting reassigned to Triple-A Colorado Springs for the rest of the year. In Triple-A, he produced a 3.98 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 6.3 SO/9 in 54 1/3 innings and elected free agency following the conclusion of the season in October.

While Goforth has found moderate success after converting from the rotation to the bullpen in 2014, he’ll serve as bullpen depth with limited major league experience and spotty command. Over three years in the majors, the righty racked up just 36 1/3 total innings and has yet to earn a full-time role. Still, he gives the club another right-handed arm with a habit of staying healthy, which could be just what the Nationals need as they cross their fingers for productive seasons from injury-plagued righties Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover in 2018.

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.