Padres deal for reliever De Los Santos from Guardians

November 18th, 2023

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres on Friday acquired from the Cleveland Guardians in exchange for in a swap of right-handed relievers.

Meanwhile, the Padres opted not to tender contract offers to left-hander Tim Hill, former starting catcher Austin Nola, right-hander Jose Espada and outfielder Taylor Kohlwey. Those four are now free agents.

Barlow is in his third year eligible for salary arbitration and one year away from free agency. He was a candidate to be non-tendered by the 5 p.m. PT deadline on Friday. Instead, the Padres replaced him with a pitcher entering his first year of arbitration and three years away from free agency.

De Los Santos, who will turn 28 on Dec. 25, spent 2016-17 in the Padres’ Minor League system before being traded for infielder Freddy Galvis. De Los Santos has 165 big league outings under his belt, including 120 with the Guardians the past two seasons.

De Los Santos had a 3.18 ERA in his two seasons getting regular work with Cleveland. His three-pitch mix (fastball, slider, changeup) proved particularly effective against right-handed batters, who hit just .171 against him in 2023. Overall, he was in the 85th percentile in avoiding hard-hit balls this year, per Statcast.

Barlow, who will turn 31 on Dec. 18, came to San Diego from Kansas City in a Trade Deadline deal last summer. The former Royals closer had a 3.07 ERA in 25 appearances with the Padres.

Teams had until Friday’s deadline to tender a contract for the 2024 season to players who are under club control -- players on the 40-man roster who have not accrued enough service time to become eligible for free agency. If the club opts not to do so, it “non-tenders” the player, who becomes a free agent and may sign with any of the 30 teams.

Among the non-tenders, Hill perhaps is the biggest surprise. The 33-year-old was a workhorse setup reliever in his four seasons with the Padres, making 204 appearances. He was hampered late last season by a left ring finger sprain.

Nola, who turns 34 on Dec. 28, posted a .634 OPS across four seasons with the Padres. He was struck in the face by a pitch in Spring Training and subsequently had vision issues that caused his offensive performance to plummet. He finished the season on the injured list with Triple-A El Paso.