HomeMLB RumorsPadres Acquire Jackson Wolf From Pirates

Padres Acquire Jackson Wolf From Pirates

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The Padres have acquired left-hander Jackson Wolf from the Pirates, per announcements from both clubs, with minor league infielder Kervin Pichardo going the other way. Wolf had been designated for assignment by the Pirates last week and has now been optioned to Triple-A El Paso. The Friars had an open spot on their roster and won’t need to make a corresponding move.

Wolf, 25 this month, returns to his original organization. The Padres selected the lupine lefty in the fourth round of the 2021 draft but he was sent to the Bucs in the deal at last year’s deadline that sent Rich Hill and Jiman Choi to San Diego. Prior to that trade, Wolf had made 18 Double-A starts with a 4.08 earned run average, 29.8% strikeout rate and 6.3% walk rate. He also made one emergency start in the big leagues, allowing three earned runs in five innings.

His numbers after changing organizations were not as impressive. He made eight Double-A starts after the deal with a 4.25 ERA, 19.9% strikeout rate and 6.6% walk rate. Perhaps he was surpassed on the Pirates’ depth chart by guys like Paul Skenes and Jared Jones. The Bucs needed three Opening Day roster spots for Jones, Ryder Ryan and Hunter Stratton and Wolf was one of the casualties.

But losing his roster spot with Pittsburgh gives him the chance to rejoin the Padres. Pitching depth has been a concern for the Friars all winter as each of Blake Snell, Seth Lugo, Michael Wacha, Nick Martinez and Hill reached free agency. They added Michael King, Jhony Brito, Randy Vásquez and Drew Thorpe in the Juan Soto trade and then added Dylan Cease, sending Thorpe out in that deal.

They currently have a rotation consisting of Cease, King, Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove and Matt Waldron, with Brito in the big league bullpen as Vásquez and Jay Groome are on the 40-man and pitching in Triple-A. Wolf will join the latter two in that category and try to earn his next trip to the majors. He still has two option years remaining.

To reacquire Wolf, the Padres will part with Pichardo, whom they acquired from the Phillies in the 2022 deal that sent James Norwood the other way. He split 2023 between High-A and Double-A, striking out in 25.9% of his plate appearances but also drawing walks 12.5% of the time. His combined batting line of .257/.370/.402 translated to a wRC+ of 120.

He didn’t crack Baseball America’s list of the top 30 Padres prospects coming into the year but will give the Bucs a bit of extra minor league infield depth. He has played all four infield spots in his minor league career and a little bit in the outfield as well.


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