[tps_title]3. Brandon Maurer Was an Elite Force in the Bullpen[/tps_title]
Lost in all the offseason trade action was the trade that sent Seth Smith to the Seattle Mariners in return for a highly coveted reliever in Brandon Maurer. At the time this trade was pretty much overlooked, but in hindsight it was arguably the best trade the Padres made all offseason. Maurer had arguably the best year of his career and solidified himself as an elite and almost unhittable force in the backend of the Padres bullpen. Prior to his injury late in the season that ended his season prematurely, Maurer was the Padres’ dominant seventh-inning man and was arguably better than either Joaquin Benoit or Craig Kimbrel. Going forward, once healthy, the Padres will have a real force in the bullpen to build around for next season.