By George A. King III
Judging by the Padres sending David Post to watch the Yankees’ Triple-A club, there is a sense in the industry the Yankees are interested in left-handed reliever Brad Hand.
Post, a special assistant to Padres general manager A.J. Preller, has been following Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The going-nowhere Padres, who were 21 games out of first place in the NL West going into Saturday’s action, are expected to deal the 27-year-old Hand. And with the bullpen the biggest concern for the Yankees, they certainly would be interested in what it would take to land Hand.
One concern about Hand, who can become a free agent after the 2019 season, is the recent workload. He worked 111 innings in 2014, 93 ¹/₃ in 2015 and 89 ¹/₃ last year, when he led the NL with 82 appearances, and has 47 this season.
His strikeouts-to-innings-pitched have spiked in the past two seasons. He whiffed 111 in 89 ¹/₃ innings last year and has struck out 60 in 47 this year, when he is 2-4 with a 2.30 ERA in 42 games.