The Padres recent surge in the standings has gotten fans excited. The Padres are 16-5 in their last 21 games, and have a small shot at a Wild-Card berth. However, I am looking ahead to 2013. Let’s face it: San Diego’s season ended in May. I am looking for ways that the team can build on the second-half of this year, and carry it into 2013.
One of my areas of concern is the bullpen. With Huston Street locked up through 2014, the closer situation has been settled. The Padres should still have Luke Grergerson in the fold. I believe that the team need another veteran arm or two, especially in the middle innings. Evan Meek is an intriguing candidate.
Meek was recently designated for assignment for the Pirates. Meek has battled arm issues this year, and has only thrown 12 innings for the Pirates this year.
In 2010, Meek was an All-Star, pitching to a 2.14 ERA in 70 games for the Pirates. He actually pitched in the Padres system in 2006. He and current Padres reliever Dale Thayer were traded for Russell Branyan back in 2006.
Meek will be 30 next season, and is under team control through 2015. He made $820,000 this year, and should not cost much more than $1 million. Perhaps the Padres can find gold once again, and stabilize the bullpen in a very winnable NL West. It seems like a low-risk, potential high-reward situation.
Meek’s fastball is down to an average of 92.3 in 2012, albeit in a very small sample size. In 2010, Meek’s fastball was in excess of 94 MPH. Meek could be had cheaply, and could be a fixture out of the pen in 2013.