Blue Jays acquire Clayton Richard from Padres

The Toronto Blue Jays have acquired left-hander Clayton Richard and cash from the San Diego Padres in exchange for minor-league outfielder Connor Panas, the team announced Sunday.

In a corresponding move, right-hander Oliver Drake was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays to make room on the 40-man roster.

Richard has spent seven of his 10 professional seasons with the Padres – he’s had two different stints with the organization, though. Last season, the southpaw

The 35-year-old has served primarily as a starter throughout his career, but he will likely be deployed as a long reliever out of the bullpen.

Toronto will start the season with a younger bullpen than they are accustomed to. With Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez filling out the top of the rotation, the final three spots will likely be occupied by Ryan Borucki, Sean Reid-Foley, and the newly signed Matt Shoemaker.

After trading away longtime reliever Aaron Loup at the non-waiver trade deadline, the Jays had just two possible left-handed bullpen arms in Tim Mayza and Thomas Pannone. Richard would offer the ability to be an option to cover for the Jays’ projected rotation. He could also serve as another option to step in and start in the case of injury. He is a sinkerball pitcher who also possesses a slider, four-seam fastball, and changeup.

Panas was one of several pieces that helped Double-A New Hampshire capture the 2018 Eastern League championship. The Toronto native hit .232/.296/.359 with nine home runs and 39 RBIs in 2018.

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