The Padres and righty Thomas Eshelman have agreed to a minor league deal, tweets MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. It’s a homecoming of sorts for the 27-year-old, who grew up just north of San Diego in Carlsbad. Eshelman, a client of the Ballengee Group, will vie a roster spot in camp and give the Friars some upper-level pitching depth if he doesn’t make the squad.
A second-round pick by the Astros out of Cal State Fullerton back in 2015, Eshelman went from Houston to Philadelphia as part of a trade package for Ken Giles in 2015. The Phillies flipped him to the Orioles in a 2019 deal that sent international bonus allotments back to Philadelphia.
Eshelman made his big league debut with the O’s in 2019, and he’s appeared in each of the past three seasons with Baltimore. While he’s picked up 98 1/3 innings of experience in the Majors, the righty has yet to find much success, pitching to a 5.77 ERA with an 11.3% strikeout rate, a 6.9% walk rate and a 34.1% ground-ball rate. Eshelman does have a more palatable 4.43 ERA in parts of four Triple-A seasons (355 2/3 innings), where he’s logged a 16.7% strikeout rate and a 4.8% walk rate.
The Padres are loaded with rotation options, with Joe Musgrove, Yu Darvish, Mike Clevinger, Blake Snell, Nick Martinez, Chris Paddack, Ryan Weathers, Reiss Knehr, Pedro Avila, MacKenzie Gore and Adrian Martinez all on the 40-man roster. Given that depth, it’ll likely be tough for Eshelman to work his way onto the roster in the limited time remaining in camp, but he can still give San Diego some extra depth in Triple-A El Paso.