Blue Jays acquire lefty Richard from Padres

December 30th, 2018

The Blue Jays on Sunday acquired left-hander and cash considerations from the Padres in exchange for outfielder Connor Panas.
Richard, 35, was designated for assignment by San Diego last week to clear space on the roster for . The Padres will cover half of Richard's remaining $3 million salary, according to's AJ Cassavell.
Richard, whose 60.3 ground-ball rate is tops in the National League over the past four seasons, went 7-1 with a 5.33 ERA in 27 starts for the Padres in 2018. The club brought Richard back for a second stint in August 2016 after he was released by the Cubs, then it re-signed him that offseason.
Richard is now the front-runner for the final spot in the Blue Jays' starting rotation behind , , and the recently signed . Richard could, however, face competition from rookies , Thomas Pannone and .
If Richard doesn't claim a rotation spot, the veteran could be an option for the bullpen with as the only left-hander on Toronto's 40-man roster. Richard has primarily been a starter throughout his 10-year Major League career, but he's made 65 relief appearances, most of them coming with the Cubs from 2015-16.
Panas, 25, spent the 2018 season with Double-A New Hampshire. He hit .232/.296/.359 with 16 doubles, nine home runs and 39 RBIs in 105 games. The Blue Jays selected the Toronto native in the ninth round of the 2015 MLB Draft.
To make room for Richard on the 40-man roster, the Blue Jays designated right-hander for assignment. It's the eighth time he's been DFA'd since the start of the 2017 season. Drake played for five different clubs in 2018, and he pitched in two games with Toronto in July. He passed through the Twins and Rays organizations before he rejoined the Blue Jays when they claimed him off waivers from Tampa Bay in late November.