Brad Hand, Padres lefty reliever: he’s pretty good.
Somehow the Padres got him off waivers in April of 2016, from Miami. Then he started throwing a bunch of breaking balls and turned a lost career around. So far this year both his strikeout percentage (31.8 percent) and K%-BB% (22.8 percent) are at career highs, just a few ticks up over last year’s numbers.
Before we start this silly project, let’s answer a not-so-simple question: what’s he worth?
It’s tough, of course, because who knows. The answer to that question is always whatever anyone’s willing to pay, basically. Hand’s not quite into Aroldis Chapman territory, or even particularly close, so he’s not going to bring back a package that includes a legit top 10 prospect or anything. But he’s good. He’s a shutdown lefty with good peripherals, good surface stats, durability, and a newfound ability to get right handers out. Plus he’s affordable, with two years left on his contract after this season. Everyone wants a reliable lefty in the bullpen, and Hand’s good enough to be closer material in the right situation.