The Dodgers and Padres are among the teams pursuing free agent righty Garrett Richards, with Jon Heyman of Fancred (via Twitter) reporting that both have made offers. The Los Angeles organization, in particular, is said to be “making a push” to keep the long-time Halos hurler in the region.
Richards has been derailed by elbow issues for some time now, recording only 138 2/3 total innings since the start of the 2016 season. While he was able to stave off Tommy John surgery for quite some time, he finally went under the knife last July and is expected to miss most or all of the 2019 season while recovering.
In all likelihood, then, the clubs pursuing Richards will be angling for some sort of multi-year arrangement. The current standard for this sort of situation is a two-year, $10MM pact. That’s what Drew Smyly (with the Cubs) and Michael Pineda (Twins) took home last year under similar circumstances, and it’s also what MLBTR predicted for Richards in our annual ranking of the top fifty free agents.
Of course, market forces could push the money or years in a different direction in this case. Richards is quite an accomplished pitcher, after all, having thrown 744 2/3 career MLB innings of 3.54 ERA ball. The high-velocity hurler is a consistent groundball producer (52.5% career GB rate) but has increasingly shown an ability to get whiffs (he has generated more than an eleven percent swinging-strike rate in each of the past four seasons and carries 9.6 K/9 in the past three).
It’s notable that these two California organizations are pushing for Richards, though he’d fit comfortably with any club that likes him and is interested in taking some financial risk for a potentially high-quality starter. There are some connections to the state that are worth noting: not only has Richards obviously spent his professional career to date in California, but he has family roots there as well. (He was born in the state, though spent most of his childhood in Oklahoma.)