by Alex Poletti
Photo by BleacherNation
After getting shipped off to the surging San Diego Padres in a last-minute blockbuster deal at the 2020 trade deadline, starting pitcher Mike Clevinger vowed to help his team succeed in any way, most notably by violating the COVID-19 protocols for his new team.
“I think that we have a real shot this year,” the former Cleveland hurler says about his new team, “and I can’t wait to contribute however I can. I’m gonna take the ball every five days, and every other day I’ll see if I can seek out of the hotel with Tatis and Machado for some beers with friends.”
Clevinger was considered the biggest acquisition on Monday’s trade deadline, with the Padres parting with six players, including three top-20 prospects, to land the right-hander, outfielder Greg Allen and a player to be named later. Clevinger now gives San Diego a fearsome troika headline their rotation, pairing nicely with 2020 breakout star Dinelson Lamet and former top prospect Chris Paddack.
Despite Cleveland still in the thick of the expanded playoff race in the American League, many foresaw a Clevinger trade, noting some tension between the 29-year-old and his former team after the pitcher broke protocol by going out with teammate Zach Plesac and his friends in Chicago.
“I’m doing whatever I can for the rest of the season,” Clevinger continues. “I’m vigilantly on the lookout for any of Zach Plesac’s friends in any city we travel to. I think that’s going to be a big part of our success going forward.”
The Clevinger deal capped a busy week for general manager A.J. Preller, who reached into San Diego’s deep prospect pool to sure up what has been a surprisingly faulty bullpen, while also adding a veteran bat in Mitch Moreland.
“Honestly, we didn’t need as many players as we got,” Preller explains, who added three bullpen arms and two catchers alongside the marquis acquisitions. “But we’re expecting when a few of our guys go out with Clev, we’ll be at around 26 after we issue quarantines, so it’ll all even out.”