Padres Say Goodbye Clevinger–Hello Teheran

(Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)

The San Diego Padres have said goodbye to Mike Clevinger, and hello to Julio Teheran. Teheran signed a Minor League deal with the Padres on Sunday morning that can land him up to $6M in the majors. About three hours later, Clevinger signed a one-year deal with the Chicago White Sox. Ken Rosenthal was the first to report Clevinger’s contract, and it is said to be a one-year deal, pending a physical. No other terms of the agreement were disclosed.

Clevinger

Clevinger had a bit of a rough season coming off of the Tommy John surgery that kept him out of the entire 2021 season. He was able to start 22 games in 2022, which equated to 114 1/3 innings of 4.33 ERA baseball. As a result, he struck out only 91 batters in total. Clevinger then got banged up a little in the 2022 post-season.  He failed to make it out of the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. He gave up five runs (four earned) on six hits and walked two. However, that outing was actually better than his NLCS start against the Philadelphia Phillies. That start did not last even one out before Clevinger surrendered three runs. Consequently, it was not much of a surprise that he was not re-signed.

Teheran

Julio Teheran was out of MLB in 2022, after pitching just five innings in 2021 for the Detroit Tigers before being sidelined with a shoulder injury. He has always been an average, or slightly below-average pitcher for the seven full years he pitched for the Atlanta Braves. He was an All-Star in ’14 and ’16, which have been his best two years by far. In 2014, he pitched to an ERA of 2.89 over 221 innings and struck out 186 batters. That was his lone year under 3.0. However, it is proof that he can do it. So, the Padres took a chance on him as pitching depth, with an opportunity to earn a starting role. Teheran is currently pitching in the Dominican winter league, and is looking strong with a 2.80 ERA through 32 2/3 innings. It will be interesting to see what he can do for the Padres.

Outlook

Sometimes it can take pitchers a couple of seasons to fully recover from Tommy John surgery, so it is early to count Clevinger out. The White Sox clearly understand this and gave him a shot to prove them right. The Padres probably understand this too, as they are no strangers to pitchers going under the knife, however, they signed Julio Teheran earlier in the day. As a result, they might have figured that they didn’t need to take a chance on Clevinger returning to form. Teheran is pitching well this winter, so the Padres are betting that is a sign of what is to come for the 31-year-old.

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Players Mentioned:

Mike Clevinger, Julio Teheran

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