Garrett Richards was signed by the Angels in the 1st round of the 2009 MLB Draft (17 slots after Mike Trout) and picked up a signing bonus of $802,800. He has spent his entire career in the Angels’ Organization and met his best friend there as well. We all know how that story goes. But that time has come to an end with the announcement yesterday that the Padres would be signing Richards.
The Padres’ deal with Garrett Richards is a straight two-year deal. It far exceeds the typical two-year, $10M deal others coming off Tommy John surgery have received. Speaks to the heavy interest in Richards and the upside teams see in his arm. Deal can max out at $18M.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 29, 2018
Considering he may not even pitch in 2019, that’s a pretty sweet deal for Richards, and in case you were wondering - Jeff Fletcher lets us know that the Angels were indeed in on the bidding:
In the end, the Padres have the budget space to eat Richards’ salary for 2019 and the Angels do not - considering all the other upgrades they need to be competitive next season.
Richards was the closest thing the Angels had to an ace over the past few years but he could never quite stay healthy. First, a knee injury prematurely ended his fantastic 2014 season and cause him to open 2015 on the DL. Richards still tossed 207 innings that year but followed up with 34.2, 27.2, and 76.1 over the past 3 seasons. His 2018 season and Angels career (for now) ended on July 10th, 2018 when he left the game after throwing just 43 pitches over 2.2 innings.
Over his career, Richards has thrown 744.2 innings with a record of 45-38. He has struck out 645 with an ERA of 3.54. Despite his injury history, Richards still managed to land at #21 on the all time Angels list for innings pitched and #16 in strikeouts. Perhaps he can find his way back to the Angels some day, but for now we wish him well as he joins the Padres, a mere 94 miles south of the Big A.