The California native has spent almost all of his career in baseball in his home state. He started his MLB journey with the Angels after being drafted in the 1st round of the 2009 June Amateur Draft.
During the 2018 offseason he headed south to San Diego where he signed a two year deal worth around 15 million. Now he’s looking for a new home after a combined record of 2-3 with a 4.65 ERA in his time with the Padres. Richards started 10 games last season and actually had a nice bounce back year after getting Tommy John surgery in 2018 and missing the majority of the 2019 season as well.
Richards would potentially be the highest paid pitcher on the Brewers roster as he made an average base salary of about $7.75MM per year during his time with the Padres. While there are times that he struggles keeping the ball away from the barrel of hitters’ bats (22nd worst at 6.1%), he also has nasty movement on his pitches.
Richards’ spin rates on his fastball and curveball are elite. He ranks in the 97th percentile in fastball spin and the 99th percentile in curveball with only Lucas Sims of the Reds in front of him.
His go-to pitch is arguably a four seam fastball around 95 mph on average that pitching aficionados classify as a “worm killer” because of the sinking action it has on it’s way to the plate. He also throws a slider that he’s pretty good at keeping down in the zone, but won’t use too often.
Lastly, a ridiculous curveball. In 2020 his curveball had the highest revolutions per minute (RPM) at 3,343….. about 1,000 RPMs higher than the league average of 2,515. His pitches are having a dance party on the way to the plate. Good luck to hitters facing Richards in 2021.
Any one of these pitchers would make excellent additions to the Brewers rotation and could give this team the pitching it needs to dominate throughout a postseason.
Free agency has been moving slowly, but these guys will start signing at some point soon.