NASHVILLE, Tenn. — On the final day of baseball’s winter meetings, the Padres helped roust the annual gathering from its slumber.
And in completing a trade that sent outfielders Juan Soto and Trent Grisham to the Yankees, the Padres made strides toward achieving two of their overriding offseason objectives — adding to their starting rotation and trimming salary.
In return for the generational offensive talent of Soto — and relief from the contracts of him and Grisham — the Padres received pitcher Michael King. It was reported earlier in the day — and confirmed by a source — that the other players going to the Padres were Drew Thorpe, Randy Vásquez and Jhony Brito and catcher Kyle Higashioka. However, the entirety of the final return was not known Wednesday night.
The Padres’ imperative of acquiring starting pitching makes King the immediate centerpiece of their haul.
The 28-year-old right-hander had a 2.75 ERA over 104 2/3 innings last season. He filled a hybrid role for the Yankees but will certainly be slotted into the Padres’ rotation, which before Wednesday consisted of Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove.
Coming off a July 2022 surgery to repair a fractured throwing elbow, King began ‘23 in the bullpen before starting eight times at the end of the season, a stretch in which he had a 1.88 ERA and struck out 48 over 38 1/3 innings.
The 23-year-old Thorpe is ranked by MLB.com as the Yankees’ No.5 prospect and the No. 99 prospect in the minor leagues. The right-hander posted a 2.52 ERA in 23 starts between high-A and Double-A last season.
Vásquez, who made his major league debut against the Padres on May 26 at Yankee Stadium, had a 2.87 ERA in 37 1/3 innings (five starts, six relief appearances) for the Yankees last season. The 25-year-old right-hander is listed as the Yankees’ No.13 prospect.
Higashioka, 33, has batted .231/.269/.401 while starting 143 games over the past two seasons.
Brito also made his debut in ‘24, starting in 13 of his 25 games. The right-hander posted a 4.28 ERA in 90 1/3 innings.
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