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Padres sign LHP Christian Friedrich to minor league deal

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Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

In the brief time I was typing about the Padres signing Matt Thornton, the club snagged up another left-handed reliever on a minor league deal, former Rockies first-round pick Christian Friedrich. He was placed on waivers by Colorado last month and claimed by the Angels, who subsequently returned him to the Rockies when the commissioner's office reversed the waiver claim following concerns the Angels had due to his medical evaluation - Colorado then released him outright. The Padres must not share the Angels' concerns, because here we are.

Unlike Thornton, Friedrich has not had success at the major league level. Utilized as a starter in his rookie season of 2012, he got lit up for an ERA over six in 16 starts, and spent all of 2013 in AAA before returning in 2014 primarily as a reliever. Last season was his first exclusively out of the bullpen, and he managed to get his ERA down to a career-low 5.25 in 58.1 innings over 68 games. Of course, pitching on the moon in Coors Field is bound to fluff that up, but his ballpark-adjusted ERA+ was still a subpar 89 (like IQ, 100 is average).

Like Thornton, he was extended an invitation to big league spring training. If I had to guess, I'd say that will serve mostly as an opportunity to get to know some of his future El Paso Chihuahuas teammates.