SAN DIEGO -- Brad Hand is hours from having some clarity regarding his future with the Padres. Finally.One of the most coveted trade chips ahead of the non-waiver Trade Deadline, Hand has been the subject of intense speculation for the better part of the past month. Come 1 p.m. PT
SAN DIEGO -- Brad Hand is hours from having some clarity regarding his future with the Padres. Finally.
One of the most coveted trade chips ahead of the non-waiver Trade Deadline, Hand has been the subject of intense speculation for the better part of the past month. Come 1 p.m. PT on Monday, his future -- for the next few months at least -- will be sealed.
"It'll be over one way or another," Hand said. "Whatever happens, I'll be happy either way."
Hand has been nothing short of dominant since early June. He hasn't allowed a run in 19 straight appearances, and he's struck out 19 hitters in 11 1/3 innings since the start of July. In the process, his ERA has dipped to an even 2.00.
More than half the league has called to inquire about Hand. After last October's bullpen revolution, he figures to be a perfect fit on just about any contender. His durability and versatility make him especially appealing.
But Hand is still under contract through 2019. And the Padres have made it clear they're willing to keep Hand if their asking price isn't met.
"I'd be happy," Hand said. "They would see me as a part of their future plans here. I like the team here, I like the coaches, I like everything about it. It's a good spot to be."
Added Padres manager Andy Green: "Do I enjoy [having] Brad Hand here? Sure, what manager wouldn't? I'm thrilled every time I can reach down there and put him in a game."
Since trade speculation began to heat up in early July, Hand has done nothing to stifle interest. He's been excellent this month, adding that it's been easy for him to block out any trade chatter. Hand added that his wife is much more clued into any potential landing spots than he is.
Ultimately, if the Padres choose to keep Hand, he'd likely still be on the trade block this offseason. But it's hard to see his value being much higher than it is now.
Of course, Hand has plenty of reason to be content where he is. He revived his career in San Diego, after all. The Padres claimed him off waivers from Miami at the start of the 2016 season. He has since turned into one of the game's most dominant relievers, and appeared in his first All-Star Game earlier this month.
"I'm just thankful for the opportunity they gave me here to be able to pitch in those kinds of roles," Hand said. "I just kind of ran with the opportunity they gave me, and it's worked out."
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.