Left-hander Drew Pomeranz has been dealing with elbow discomfort while rehabbing with Triple-A El Paso, and Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune (X link) reports that Pomeranz’s season is officially over. The southpaw already hasn’t seen any action since pitching a scoreless inning for El Paso on September 3.
Pomeranz is heading for free agency, as his four-year, $34MM contract with the Padres is up after the season. The deal amounted to 44 1/3 relief innings for San Diego over the 2020-21 seasons, as Pomeranz hasn’t appeared in a Major League game since August 2021 due to flexor tendon surgery and then several setbacks due to lingering soreness. He underwent another elbow surgery back in May, and he only returned in late August to make four minor league appearances before being shut down yet again.
Pomeranz turns 35 in November, and between his age, two lost seasons, and a left elbow that still doesn’t seem to be 100 percent, it isn’t out of the question that the left-hander might consider retirement. The fifth overall pick of the 2010 draft and a veteran of 11 Major League seasons, Pomeranz battled to find consistency as a starter for much of his career, though his highs included an All-Star appearance in 2016 (during his first stint with the Padres). After he struggled as a starter in 2018-19, he seemingly found a second chapter as a full-time reliever with the Brewers during the 2019 campaign, which prompted San Diego to take the $34MM plunge on his services in the 2019-20 offseason.
Given his past track record, Pomeranz could still get some looks on a minor league contract this winter, provided he is able to get healthy. A no-risk minors deal leaves some wiggle room for a team if Pomeranz’s elbow problems do continue, and a new club could at least get some chance to evaluate Pomeranz first-hand to see if a comeback is possible or feasible.