The Padres officially announced the signing of second baseman Ian Kinsler to a two-year contract on Thursday. To make room for him on the active roster, the club designated pitcher Clayton Richard for assignment. Richard is owed $3 million for the 2019 season, which the Padres will have to pay (minus the major league minimum salary) if he signs with a new team.
Richard, 35, posted a disappointing 5.33 ERA with 108 strikeouts and 60 walks over 158 2/3 innings for the Padres last season. He was also subpar in 2017 with the Padres, finishing with a 4.79 ERA across 197 1/3 innings.
Richard underwent season-ending knee surgery in August. That, Richard’s age, and his recent performance are certainly red marks against him, but he’s left-handed and an innings-eater when healthy, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him quickly latch on elsewhere.
The Angels have placed Andrew Heaney on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation, the club announced Saturday. The move is retroactive to July 17, though it’s not yet certain that he’ll be cleared to pitch again by the end of the month.
It’s an unfortunate development for the 28-year-old southpaw, who has battled inflammation in his pitching elbow on and off since spring training. In fact, his arm issues date back several years, including the shoulder impingement that put him on the shelf in 2017 and the Tommy John surgery he underwent in 2016. With such a complicated medical history, it makes sense that the Angels would want to proceed with caution as they facilitate the lefty’s eventual return to the mound.
Given his ongoing struggles, Heaney has seen mixed results with the club in 2019. Prior to his recent IL assignment, he pitched to a 1-3 record in nine starts with a 5.09 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, and 10.6 SO/9 through 46 innings. Since the end of June, however, his starts have gotten shorter and shorter; he lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his final outing against the Astros, expending a tremendous 103 pitches and issuing two runs, two walks, and five strikeouts during the team’s eventual 7-2 win.
In a corresponding roster move, the Angels claimed lefty reliever Adalberto Mejía off of waivers from the Twins. Mejía, 26, is expected to be activated ahead of Saturday’s game versus the Mariners. Over 13 appearances with Minnesota, he turned in an 8.80 ERA, 7.0 BB/9, and 8.8 SO/9 in 15 1/3 innings.