With the Padres outfield depth stretched to its limit with Travis Jankowski
and Alex Dickerson
on the disabled list, the club struck a deal to acquire Matt Szczur
from the Cubs in exchange for righthander Justin Hancock
The Padres transferred lefthander Buddy Baumann
to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster for Szczur and they will make a corresponding move to the 25-man roster once Szczur reports.
The Padres drafted Hancock in the ninth round out of Lincoln Trail (Ill.) CC in 2011 and he rose to become their No. 25 prospect after the 2015 season. He made two starts at Triple-A El Paso in 2016 before he was shut down with shoulder soreness and did not pitch the rest of the year. Converted from the rotation to the bullpen this season, Hancock struggled to a 6.23 ERA in 10 appearances at Double-A San Antonio. Hancock primarily works off a 92-95 mph fastball and a changeup that flashes plus. He also has a curveball that has never been particularly effective. Hancock doesn’t strike out many hitters, gives up a high volume of hits and battles inconsistent control. He is strictly an organizational player at this point, although with better control could end up fastball/changeup reliever.
||San Antonio (TL)
Szczur has had better luck hitting lefthanders (.252 AVG, .723 OPS) than righties (.236 AVG, .622 OPS) in a career spanning parts of four seasons. He was an effective bench player on last year’s World Series championship team, although he did not get a postseason at-bat, but was hitting just .211 this year in 19 at-bats and was out of options. Szczur has primarily played left field in his career and will likely platoon with Cory Spangenberg there for the time being.