Despite knowing it was possible, the reality of it still came as a shock when Thatcher learned of the trade Wednesday.
“I heard the Diamondbacks had been in talks for a while now,” he said. “I knew that was a possibility but to get the news it was a done deal, it was surprising but it’s exciting too. It’s a good feeling knowing teams were wanting me. Our general manager [Josh Byrnes] said it was a deal they felt they had to make. he said they’d been offered a lot of prospects for me but he felt I was worth more than a couple prospects.”
Thatcher has made his name in the majors as a situational lefty. He pitched in 50 of San Diego’s 108 games this season, usually in short stints of less than an inning. He is 3-1 with an ERA of 2.10 in 30 innings of work. Thatcher has 11 holds, 29 strikeouts and just four walks.
Joining Arizona means a quick move, but not too far. It’s a five-to-six-hour drive from San Diego to Phoenix. His wife Katie and newborn son Jack (born July 16) visited Thatcher when the Padres were on a road swing there from July 26-28. Thatcher said they’ll get a temporary home in Phoenix as soon as possible to have the family together through the rest of the season.
“It makes it a little harder having a newborn, but my wife, she can handle it,” Thatcher said. “Two weeks old, [he’s] already been to Phoenix. We’re lucky we had him over the All-Star break, so I was able to be home, which was amazing obviously.”
Staying in the NL West allows Thatcher to maintain a comfort zone with rival squads he’s already familiar with.
“It’s weird it happened that way but it’s a plus for me,” Thatcher said of the intra-division trade. “It’s familiar to me. We’re playing the same teams. We’re chasing the Dodgers now. They got me to get Adrian [Gonzalez] out and Carl Crawford and [Andre] Ethier, [the Dodgers’] lefties. It’s turned into a good rivalry. They had a history last year and this year of guys throwing at each other and a couple scuffles. It’s exciting. It should be a good time.”