“Drew Pomeranz, star reliever” would have been an absurd claim five months ago, when the left-hander was laboring as a starter with the Giants. Since then, however, it’s become an eminently reasonable view. Beginning with a stint out of the bullpen in San Francisco and continuing with the Brewers, Pomeranz delivered a half-season of pure electricity.
Today that view goes mainstream. As first reported by Ken Rosenthal, the Padres have signed Pomeranz to a four-year, $34 million deal, further thinning out the free agent reliever market and besting the estimates of both Kiley McDaniel and the crowd on our Top 50 Free Agents list; Pomeranz ranked 24th on the list. Pomeranz will join Kirby Yates to further anchor what was already an above-average unit.
I recently wrote about the changes Pomeranz made to his game as a reliever, but they’re worth reiterating, as they certainly figure heavily into San Diego’s move. Essentially, Pomeranz is the type of pitcher best suited to switch to relief. He has a great fastball that could use a bit of extra giddyup, a terrific secondary offering in his knee-buckling curve, and no business throwing any of his other pitches.