Padres get Edwards Jr. from Cubs for Wieck

August 1st, 2019

SAN DIEGO -- In the Padres saw a righty reliever with big-time stuff, big-game experience and huge potential.

So what if he’d been having a down year in the Cubs' organization? If anything, that made it easier for general manager A.J. Preller to pounce ahead of Wednesday's 1 p.m. PT Trade Deadline.

The Padres landed Edwards from Chicago on Wednesday afternoon in exchange for lefty reliever Brad Wieck. They also pulled in $500,000 in international bonus money in the deal. Edwards, 27, is expected to report to Triple-A El Paso.

"He's a guy that's obviously been one of the better relievers in the National League in the last four years," Preller said. "... There was a drop in his performance this season, and we viewed it as an opportunity to get a guy that's been as tough as anybody to hit."

That's not hyperbole. Edwards' career strikeout numbers qualify as elite. He's fanned 12.1 hitters per nine innings, while posting a 3.30 ERA.

That said, Edwards has dealt with serious control issues throughout his career, too, walking five hitters per nine innings. This season, Edwards' ERA skyrocketed to 5.87, and he has spent the past month pitching for Triple-A Iowa.

Edwards is under team control through the 2022 season, though it's worth noting that he'll be out of options in 2020. The Padres wouldn't be able to send him to the Minors without first exposing him to waivers.

Wieck, meanwhile, has another option year remaining after this one, and that almost certainly played a factor in the Cubs' decision to part with Edwards. In 30 appearances for San Diego this season, Wieck posted a 6.57 ERA.

The Padres' goal is to help Edwards regain his form from 2015-18 when he was a reliable bullpen piece on several Cubs playoff teams. In that regard, the club is hopeful Edwards might benefit from the tutelage of pitching coach Darren Balsley and bullpen coach Doug Bochtler, who have salvaged the careers of plenty of relievers in the past.

"He still has ceiling and upside and has been one of the more dominant right-handed relievers," Preller said. "That was a project that we wanted to take on."