The San Diego Padres have reportedly locked up their top reliever for the foreseeable future, agreeing Saturday to a three-year, $19.75-million contract extension with left-hander and newly minted All-Star Brad Hand that includes a club option for a fourth year, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Hand's extension, which covers his final two seasons of arbitration-eligibility and at least one year of free agency, is pending a physical.
Since becoming a full-time reliever in 2016, Hand has been one of the game's top left-handed bullpen arms, authoring a 2.56 ERA and 1.03 WHIP with a 29.5 percent strikeout rate across 154 appearances over the past two seasons. Last year, as his name swirled in trade rumors in the months leading up the deadline, Hand set new career-bests in ERA (2.16), WHIP (0.93), strikeout rate (33.4 percent), and walk rate (6.4 percent) over 72 outings while finishing seventh among National League relievers in WAR (1.7).
Opponents wOBA leaderboard, LHP, 2016-2017 (min. 100 IP)
"It's nice to see that they want me to be a part of the future here, however long I end up staying here," Hand told Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune after the 2017 trade deadline passed. "Whatever I can do to help the team win some ballgames, for however long that is, I'm happy to be here."