The New York Yankees sold high on Michael King and took advantage of his incredible run as a starter late in the season to put him in the Juan Soto trade package.
This is not to say King will revert and be a bad pitcher: to the contrary, he is a very solid hurler who will now have an extended opportunity with the San Diego Padres.
However, chances are that he is unlikely to get on a similar roll and the Yankees definitely leveraged that late-season performance into a top-tier bat.
What King did is nothing short of amazing, and it has earned him a spot in the Padres rotation according to general manager A.J. Preller.
“Padres GM A.J. Preller said Michael King will be a part of the club’s rotation in 2024,” MLB Network tweeted while also showing King’s numbers in his last eight starts with the Yanks.
Padres GM A.J. Preller said Michael King will be a part of the club’s rotation in 2024.
A look at what King did after being converted to a full-time starter last season ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/BDG9gnQe1K
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) December 7, 2023
38.1 innings pitched, 33 hits allowed, a 1.88 ERA, nine walks, and 48 strikeouts.
That’s outstanding performance right there.
The doubt regarding King’s role stems from the fact he is a really good reliever.
In 168.2 innings from the bullpen in his career, he has a 2.93 ERA.
On the other hand, he boasts a 4.33 ERA as a starter in 79 frames.
He is a different pitcher now than earlier in his career, though, so he has some staying power in the rotation even if he won’t post a sub-2.00 ERA over a full season.
King the starter could be a very valuable piece for the Padres, if they know how to deploy him.
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